Open seminar: Nationalism, identity and the EU

Tuesday May 13 from 12:00 to 13:30 at the Nordic House

Nationalism, Identity and the EU

An open seminar hosted by the Institute of International Affairs at the University of Iceland and the EU Info Centre in Iceland, in cooperation with the Department of Folkloristics/Ethnology and Museum Studies at the University of Iceland.

The influential role played by nationalism, identity and cultural heritage with regard to attitudes towards European integration will be explored. The seminar will provide an overview of the rise of nationalistic and independence movements in Europe following the financial crisis and the discussion will be linked to the current status of EU skepticism. Case studies from the Netherlands, Iceland and Scotland will be explored.


Nationalizing Europe? Exploring the recent resurgence of national sentiment in Europe

The talk will explore what was recently described as a ‘rediscovery of the national’ throughout Europe, that is the naming, promoting, commercializing  and mediatizing of what is felt as ‘typically’ Dutch, Danish, English, Spanish, Icelandic and so forth. The starting point will be the recent clash between the United Nations and the typically Dutch tradition of St. Nicholas (and Black Pete).

Herman Roodenburg is Professor of Historical Anthropology and Ethnology of Europe at the Free University of Amsterdam and Special Researcher of Dutch Ethnology at Meertens Instituut.


Iceland and Populist Euroscepticism: Common Patterns and Divergences

Populist criticism of the EU is on the rise in Europe, with growing electoral strength of parties like UKIP in Britain and Front National in France. Is the Icelandic opposition to Iceland’s participation in European integration of similar nature, or is it an isolated and home-grown phenomenon?

Guðmundur Hálfdánarson is Professor of History at the University of Iceland.


A Place in the World for Scotland? The Independence Referendum in a European Perspective

On 18 September, residents in Scotland will be asked if that nation should become an independent country. Scotland offers an interesting example where one aim of the independence movement is to become more ‘European’, specifically through a new ‘small state’ identity.

Alyson Bailes is Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Iceland and works with the think tank Scottish Global Forum.


Moderator:  Valdimar Tr. Hafstein, Associate Professor of Folkloristics and Ethnology at the University of Iceland.

The seminars will take place in English and are open to the public.