The End of Iceland's Innocence

The End of Iceland's Innocence

The Image of Iceland in the Foreign Media during the Financial Crisis

By Daniel Chartier

240 Pages · 9.00x6.00 · March 14 2011

Paper ISBN: 9780776607603

ePub ISBN: 9780776619439

PDF ISBN: 9780776619446

Availability: In stock

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Paper
29.95 $ CA
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ePub eBook
14.99 $ CA
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PDF eBook
14.99 $ CA
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Description

In the space of a few days, one of the world’s richest and most egalitarian nations, Iceland, toppled into financial chaos and sunk into an economic, ethical, moral and identity crisis. The vast empire built by Iceland’s young entrepreneurs, the “new Vikings”—who had propelled the country to the top of wealth, equality and happiness charts—collapsed under the combined effect of the failure of its banks and astronomical debt (more than ten times the country’s gross domestic product). Iceland became, in the midst of the global economic crisis, an icon of disaster that troubles all Western countries seeking to understand how the Scandinavian model could collapse so suddenly.
 

In this book, Daniel Chartier traces, through thousands of articles appearing in the foreign press, the fascinating reversal of Iceland’s image during the crisis. Citizens of a country now humiliated, Icelanders must deal with a number of significant issues including the quest for wealth, sovereignty, ethics, responsibility, gender and the limits of neoliberalism.

INTRODUCTION: A MEDIA CRISIS
Excessiveness
The Research
The Role of the Media—Dramatisation of the Crisis

PART ONE: ASSETS IN JEOPARDY
An Egalitarian, Progressive and Peaceful Country—An Independent Utopia
The Impact of the Crisis Abroad—A General Dislike of Iceland
A Casualty of the Global Crisis—The First Domino to Fall
Communication Problems—An Atmosphere of Mistrust
Ethics—In Great Disarray
Free-Thinking Artists—Björk and Olafur Eliasson
Humour—‘Ctrl-Alt-Del. Welcome to Iceland 2.0’

PART TWO: BANKRUPTCY
Numerous Warnings—A Foreseeable Collapse
Bankruptcy—Iceland Became Synonymous with Crisis
Social and Economic Incest—A Closely-Knit Economy
Davið Oddsson and the Central Bank of Iceland—Political Intervention in Economics
Arrogance—Excessive Confidence
Iceland’s Very Loyal Friend—Richard Portes
The New Vikings—Yesterday’s Heroes, Today’s Villains
Gender Issues—Women: The Antidote to the Crisis

PART THREE: THE REST OF THE WORLD
Scandinavia—Our Nordic Friends
Russia—Our New Friend
The Conflict with the United Kingdom—One of Us, Not One of Them
Europe—Seeking Protective Shelter
A Very Small Country—Big Is Not Always Beautiful

CONCLUSION: THE HUMILIATED COUNTRY
Violence—Icelanders’ Anger
Returning to Traditions—Fishing, Morality and Anti-Consumerism
Irresponsibility—Who Should Pay the Price?
Humiliation—The Wounded Tiger

CHRONOLOGY

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Author Bio

Daniel Chartier is a professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal and Director of the International Laboratory for the Comparative Multidisciplinary Study of Representations of the North.