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From Collapse to Constitution: The Case of Iceland

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  • Thorvaldur Gylfason

Abstract

Most of the time, crises precede constitutions. Following a brief review of relevant historical background, this article aims to show why Iceland, after its financial collapse in 2008, is now at last on the road to adopting a new constitution to replace the provisional constitution from 1944. The aim is also to show how the constitutional bill of 2011 came into being with significant help from the general public. Further, the article outlines some of the key provisions of the bill as well as why and how it differs from the current constitution. The article concludes by offering a brief discussion of some potential obstacles to the adoption of the bill in parliament, the role of the public, and some lessons from, and for, other countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Thorvaldur Gylfason, 2012. "From Collapse to Constitution: The Case of Iceland," CESifo Working Paper Series 3770, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3770
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp3770.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Davide Ticchi & Andrea Vindigni, 2010. "Endogenous Constitutions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(543), pages 1-39, March.
    2. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2014. "This Time is Different: A Panoramic View of Eight Centuries of Financial Crises," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 15(2), pages 1065-1188, November.
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    4. Andersen, Jørgen Juel & Aslaksen, Silje, 2008. "Constitutions and the resource curse," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 227-246, October.
    5. Charles A.E. Goodhart, 2009. "The Regulatory Response to the Financial Crisis," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 13514.
    6. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Why Did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality, and Growth in Historical Perspective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1167-1199.
    7. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "Varieties of Crises and Their Dates," Introductory Chapters,in: This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly Princeton University Press.
    8. Daron Acemoglu & Georgy Egorov & Konstantin Sonin, 2012. "Dynamics and Stability of Constitutions, Coalitions, and Clubs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1446-1476, June.
    9. Benedikt Goderis & Mila Versteeg, 2012. "Human Rights Violations after 9/11 and the Role of Constitutional Constraints," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(1), pages 131-164.
    10. Brad M. Barber & Terrance Odean, 2001. "Boys will be Boys: Gender, Overconfidence, and Common Stock Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 261-292.
    11. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson & Ragnar Torvik, 2013. "Why Do Voters Dismantle Checks and Balances?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(3), pages 845-875.
    12. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "The Economic Effects of Constitutions," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661926, January.
    13. Ackerman, John, 2004. "Co-Governance for Accountability: Beyond "Exit" and "Voice"," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 447-463, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thorvaldur Gylfason, 2012. "Constitutions: Financial Crisis Can Lead to Change," Challenge, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 55(5), pages 106-122.

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    JEL classification:

    • K10 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - General (Constitutional Law)

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