|Monday, October 22, 2018||4:00PM - 6:00PM||208N, North House, Munk School of Global Affairs|
1 Devonshire Place
Like the Baltic states, Icelanders are now celebrating their 100th anniversary of restored independence. Initially, they were among the poorest of the poor in Europe. By the twenty-first century, they were among the top ten globally. A decade ago, Iceland was on the verge of national bankruptcy as a consequence of the international financial crisis. Having to rebuild its society from financial ruin, Icelanders faced a fateful choice: should they adopt the small government, low-tax model – the American way? Or should they try to reconstruct their original Nordic state? That is the question the speaker will discuss.
Jón Baldvin Hannibalsson was the leader of the Social Democratic Party of Iceland (1984-96) and served as foreign minister from 1988 to 1995. During his tenure, Iceland joined the European Economic Area and became the first country to recognize the independence of the Baltic states. Subsequently, he served as ambassador to the USA, Canada, Finland, the Baltic states, and Ukraine. Before entering politics, Mr. Hannibalson obtained an MA in Economics from the University of Edinburgh and worked as a teacher and journalist. He has lectured extensively on the role of small states in international relations. He is the author of The Baltic Road to Freedom – Iceland’s Role (2017) and the subject of the documentary film Those Who Dare (2015).
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