Rósa Erlingsdóttir

Rósa Erlingsdóttir, Predoctoral Researcher
E-mail: rosaerlings@gmail.com / rosaerlings@me.com

The Economic and Political Breakdown in Iceland: The Democratic Consequences of Patronizing Politics Age
The current Icelandic authorities are dealing with a threefold crisis at the economic, financial and political levels, which has many similarities with transition politics and democratization processes in various other countries and contexts. The proposed study aims to examine the democratic and political consequences of the systemic breakdown. It will explore the impact of the crisis on the political system and the democratic institutional order, with special emphasis on power relations and gender politics. An ideological shift, spurred by social movements, as a result of the economic crisis might lead to new openings for women and other previously marginalized groups in Iceland.

The project proposes that during times of economic and political upheaval the hidden structures of power relations and interests politics surface.  One example is the close connection between politicians and business elites in Iceland. Another example is the proposed link between the empowerment of women and democratic development.

The importance of political culture and, thus, the legitimation of Western democracies might have been underestimated by scholars. The study proposes to show that the opening up of the Icelandic economy in the early 1990s could not be sustained as the democratic order had some fundamental deficiencies that hindered necessary reforms within the political system. One suggested consequence of the weak democratic development is the under-representation of women and other marginalized groups and their interests within the political system.

Research Field and Areas: Political Science; the theoretical framework of Transition Politics and Democratization; Feminist Theories within Political Science.
Keywords: Democracy, Democratization, Economic and Political Collapse, Systemic Breakdown, Transition Politics, Financial Crisis, Power Relations, Gender Politics, Political Representation, Patronage Politics, Partisan Favouritism, Civil Society, Social Movements, Women’s Movement.

Presentations and Publications