Knowledge on the Nordics

Iceland: Uncovering the Nordic Welfare State with Stefán Ólafsson

February 03, 2021 Season 3 Episode 1
Knowledge on the Nordics
Iceland: Uncovering the Nordic Welfare State with Stefán Ólafsson
Show Notes Chapter Markers

Interested in the Nordic universal welfare systems and how effective welfare can be in times of crisis? How has Iceland fared compared to the other Nordic countries, before and after the Great Recession of 2008? Can this teach us anything about how to tackle Covid?

Join the editor of, Nicola Witcombe, on her virtual visit around the Nordic countries, this time to Stefán Ólafsson, Professor of Sociology at the University of Iceland. Stefán has had a long career looking at social policy in Iceland and elsewhere, and is one of the editors of the well-known book ’Welfare and the Great Recession: A Comparative Study'.

In this podcast, you will hear an historical overview of Iceland’s welfare policy since the middle of the last century. You will also hear about a range of related issues, like whether Iceland was a failed neoliberal experiment and 'business vikings'.

This podcast was recorded in January 2021 and is the first in the series: The Nordics Uncovered: Critical Voices from the Region. The second in the series is an interview with Janne Holmén, Associate Professor in the Department for Education at Uppsala University in Sweden  who will be talking about key geopolitical events and trends and how these influence education policy in the Nordics, as well as what it means to be a 'small state' on the world stage.

Sound credits from including "Noir" Reel by Hainbach by makenoisemusic.

Iceland lagged behind the Nordic social democratic model in mid-20th century
Overview of key welfare benefits in Iceland compared to the other Nordic countries today
Universal benefits & government policy in the Nordics cushioned the effects of the Great Recession of 2008
Iceland bouncing back from the Great Recession post-2010
Saying goodbye to a failed neoliberal experiment?
Icelandic business Vikings
Inequality a threat to functioning capitalism: if you sort out poverty, then you sort out lots of other problems
Optimism for Iceland's future: More Nordic than the other Nordic countries?