From Iceland — The Icelandic Roundup: Difficult For Extreme Politics To Thrive In Iceland

The Icelandic Roundup: Difficult For Extreme Politics To Thrive In Iceland

Published October 11, 2022

Valur Grettisson

Extreme nationalism has a hard time thriving in Iceland because Icelanders have embraced romantic nationalism since their independence in 1944, according to Dr. Eiríkur Bergman, a political scientist and a writer. Eiríkur was our guest on the Icelandic Roundup podcast where we discussed extreme politics, conspiracy theories and the ongoing terrorist investigation in Reykjavík.

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Eríkur said that Icelanders have an interesting relationship with nationalism, as we fought for our independence from the Danes with romantic nationalism, which resulted in this ideology being very much accepted by political parties after World War 2. This also had the effect that extreme nationalism had a harder time getting a foothold in Icelandic politics than in many other countries such as, for example, in Scandinavia.

Eiríkur also points out that extreme politics in Iceland have also not been very fortunate when it comes to leaders, which have to be charismatic strong men. Eiríkur says that the third reason that extremists have not been successful in Iceland is because of Icelanders’ lack of diversity. Most immigrants in Iceland are white Europeans, meaning that it’s hard to find a convincing imaginary enemy for the extreme views on the right.

Eiríkur spoke as well about conspiracy theories and how this seems to be the new norm when it comes to modern politics. Eiríkur points out, though, that these disinformation campaigns seem to have been more successful in the UK and the US than most other countries in the western world.

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