Public committees and corporatism: How does Iceland compare to Scandinavia?


  • Stefanía Óskarsdóttir



Public committees, corporatism, democracy, policy-making.


This paper compares the number of corporatist public committees, appointed by central government, in Iceland and Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, Sweden). Its main aim is to shed light on where Iceland stands compared to these countries in term of corporatist practices. Scholars view corporatist public committees as the core expression of Scandinavian corporatism and thus well suited for the measurement of corporatism. This study shows that the functional representational channel is an important feature of Icelandic democracy. In Iceland various interest groups are integrated into the democratic process of decision-making and implementation in an institutionalized and privileged manner. This is the essence of corporatism, defined as the institutionalized and privileged integration of organized interests in the preparation and/or implementation of public policies. Moreover, the results show that Iceland is today much more corporatist than the Scandinavian countries; especially, in terms of preparatory corporatism. Already in 1970, it appears that Iceland was more corporatist than Sweden in terms of the number of corporatist committees. The paper also sheds light on sectoral corporatism in Iceland.

Author Biography

Stefanía Óskarsdóttir

Associate professor, University of Iceland.




How to Cite

Óskarsdóttir, S. (2018). Public committees and corporatism: How does Iceland compare to Scandinavia?. Icelandic Review of Politics & Administration, 14(1), 167–188.