Iceland: A Parliamentary Democracy with a Semi-presidential Constitution

Svanur Kristjánsson

in Delegation and Accountability in Parliamentary Democracies

Published in print November 2003 | ISBN: 9780198297840
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602016 | DOI:

Series: Comparative Politics

Iceland: A Parliamentary Democracy with a Semi-presidential Constitution

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Formerly, the principles of delegation and accountability were poorly developed within this system, because the logic of Iceland’s patronage system embedded political relationships in a social system of mutual exchange and favours. This has changed over time as society has become more pluralistic and corporatism, which allows interest groups to dominate decision-making in some areas, has developed. Open primaries have eliminated safe seats and have made individual MPs more directly accountable to voters. Open primaries limit party discipline with regard to electoral opportunities, but political parties still can exert control over individual MPs using campaign finance.

Keywords: constitutional tradition; corporatism; European economic area (EEA) membership; interest groups; open primaries; party rule; patronage; proportional representation; referendums

Chapter.  8919 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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