The Participants


Lucy Allais is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and a Senior Lecturer at Sussex University. She did her PhD at Oxford University, on Kant’s transcendental idealism, and still works on Kantian metaphysics, in addition to working on forgiveness, resentment and punishment.

Giovanni Allegretti, University of Coimbra.

Yohann Aucante is a French political scientist at the School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, EHESS-CESPRA. He specialises on Nordic democracy, comparative welfare and social democracy.

Jón Gunnar Bernburg is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Iceland

David Brady, Associate Professor of Sociology, Duke University

Guðni Elísson is a Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Iceland. He has written articles on literature and cinema, as well as various social aspects, such as the climate change discourse and narratives relating to the economic collpse in Iceland in 2008.

Jon Elster is the Robert K. Merton Professor of Social Sciences, with Appointments in Political Science and Philosophy, at Columbia University and Professeur Titulaire at the Collège de France

Irma Erlingsdóttir is Director of EDDA – Center of Excellence, an Assistant Professor of French Contemporary Literature at the University of Iceland, and is one of three academics responsible for the direction of the GEST-programme, a transnational post-conflict/development studies programme in gender equality at UI. She has led several large-scale academic projects in the fields of gender studies, globalization, contemporary politics, and critical theory. She received her Ph.D. from Sorbonne University. As a specialist in contemporary French literature and philosophy and has published articles and book chapters in these fields. She is currently completing a monograph on the work of Hélène Cixous with a special reference to the political and emancipatory implications of art and the possibilities of creative disclosure within politics. She is also working on a cultural critique project dealing with the current economic and political crisis in Iceland.

Rósa Erlingsdóttir is a Ph.D student of Political Science at the University of Iceland

James S. Fishkin is a Professor of Communication and Political Science at Stanford University.

Gunnþórunn Guðmundsdóttir is a Senior Lecturer in Literature at the University of Iceland. She holds a PhD from the University of London and is currently working on the research project Memory and forgetting: Ruptures, gaps, and national identity funded by EDDA-Centre of Excellence.

Tinna Grétarsdóttir is a Postdoctorial Researcher at the University of Iceland

Guðmundur Hálfdanarson is a Professor of History at the University of Iceland. He specializes in European and Icelandic cultural and political history, with special emphasis on the history of nationalism. Recent publications include: (with Henrik Jensen and Lennart Berntson), Europa 1800-2000 (Copenhagen 2003 and Lund 2004); (ed.) Discrimination and Tolerance in Historical Perspective (Pisa 2006); (with Sigríður Matthíasdóttir and Magnús Guðmundsson), Aldarsaga Háskóla Íslands 1911-2011 (History of the University of Iceland 1911-2011, Reykjavík 2011); “Icelandic Modernity and the Role of Nationalism”, in Björn Wittrock and Jóhann P. Árnason, eds., Nordic Paths to Modernity (New York 2012): 251-73. He is the editor-in-chief of Scandinavian Journal of History.

Magnús Sveinn Helgason is a Ph.D student of History at Minnesota University and Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Bifröst. In 2009-10 Magnús worked for the Althingi Special Investigation Commission on the collapse of the Icelandic Financial System. Since 2010 Magnús has been a grantee of EDDA – Center of Excellence, working on the oral history research project “Narrating Crisis: Icelanders’ experiences of the economic crisis of 2008-2009 and their perceptions of its impact on family, politics and society.”

Valur Ingimundarson is a Professor of Contemporary History, University of Iceland, and Chair of Board of EDDA – Center of Excellence. Valur studied in Germany and the United States, receiving his Ph.D. from Columbia University in New York in 1993. He has written extensively on various aspects of the Cold War and post-Cold War periods, with reference to transnational politics, geopolitics, military and security strategies, and gender; Icelandic foreign and security policy; international “reconstruction,” post-conflict, and neo-colonial statebuilding practices in the Balkans; U.S.-European relations and security policies; and the Geopolitics of the “North.” He is a participant in various international projects involving security and geopolitical issues.

Alison Kadlec, Center for Advances in Public Engagement (CAPE), New York

Katla Kjartansdóttir is Acting Director of the Icelandic Centre for Ethnology and Folklore. She has an MSc in Nationalism Studies from the University in Edinburgh. She has taught courses in Edinburgh and the University of Iceland. Formerly an independent researcher at the Reykjavík Academy she took part in the international research project Iceland and images of the North, which was funded by a Rannís Grant of Excellence from 2007-2010. Katla has given numerous papers and presentations on national images, representation and the formation of national identities. Her primary research topic at the moment is “Icelanders abroad” and the transnational practice of identity before and after the economic Crash.

Hélène Landemore is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Yale University. She is the author of “Democratic Reason: Politics, Collective Intelligence, and the Rule of the Many” (forthcoming this Fall with Princeton University Press) and the co-editor with Jon Elster of an edited volume on “Collective Wisdom” (forthcoming with Cambridge University Press this summer). She is a big believer in the virtues of democratic deliberation.

Bernard Manin is Professor of Political Science at Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales and New York University. His primary field is democratic theory, with particular focus on representative institutions, political accountability and democratic deliberation. His publications include: “On legitimacy and political deliberation”, Political Theory, 1987; The principles of representative government, Cambridge University Press, 1997; Democracy, Accountability and Representation (co-edited with A. Przeworski and S.Stokes), Cambridge University Press, 1999; “Comment promouvoir la délibération démocratique? Priorité du débat contradictoire sur la discussion”, Raisons Politiques, 2011.

Salvör Nordal, Director at the Centre for Ethics, University of Iceland, and Chair of the Icelandic Constituent Council. She obtained a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Iceland in 1989, and a M.Phil in Social Justice from the University of Stirling in 1992. Since 1998 she has been teaching philosophy and ethics at the University of Iceland, and has published essays in ethics and social philosophy. She has been working on the issue of privacy in connection with genetic research and published some papers on the issues. Ms. Nordal was Member of a Working Group on Ethics as part of a Special Investigation Commission of the Icelandic Parliament, 2009-2010, investigating the fall of the Icelandic Bank. She was elected to the Constitutional Assembly in 2010 and chaired the Constitutional Council in 2011.

Sigrún Ólafsdóttir, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Boston University:

Jón Ólafsson is a Professor of Philosophy and Vice-Rector of Bifrost University.He studied philosophy at the University of Iceland where he completed his B.A. degree in 1989. He worked as a journalist for a few years, and from 1989 to 1992 was the Russia correspondent for the Icelandic national broadcasting service. Jón did graduate work in philosophy at Columbia University in New York, where he defended his Ph.D. dissertation in 1999. The dissertation, entitled Conflict and method: An essay on Dewey, is a study of John Dewey’s theory of inquiry. Jón’s book on the Icelandic socialist movement, Kæru félagar: Íslenskir sósíalistar og Sovétríkin 1920-1960 (Dear comrades: Icelandic socialists and the Soviet Union 1920-1960), was published the same year. Jón’s collection of papers in Philsophy Andóf, Ágreiningur og áróður (Dissidence, Conflict and Propaganda) was published in 2009 and he has just finished a book on Stalinism and the Gulag entitled Appelsínur frá Abkasíu. Vera Hertzsch, Halldór Laxness og hreinsanirnar miklu (Oranges from Abkhazia. Vera Hertzsch, Halldór Laxness and the Great Terror). He is now working on a set of articles dealing with freedom of thought and research, democracy and constitution in post-crisis Iceland. Jón headed the Center for Research in the Humanities at the University of Iceland from 1999-2002, and subsequently worked at the Reykjavík Academy, serving as its chairman from 2004 to 2006.

Stefán Ólafsson, Professor of Sociology, University of Iceland

Pasquale Pasquino is Global Distinguished Professor of Politics at New York University and a Senior Research Fellow at the CNRS in Paris. He has been working on history and theory of the state and the constitution in France, Germany, Italy and England. His current project is a book on Divided power: The role of constitutional courts in European democracies. He works also on the political and legal system of the post Maoist China.

Kristinn Schram is a postdoctoral researcher dealing with folkloristic perspectives on transnational performances and the exoticism of the north. Combining audio-visual media with fieldwork his research also centers on the performance and re-appropriation of representations in both media and everyday life. His postdoctoral research position is awarded by the Icelandic Centre for Research and Edda – Centre for Excellence. It is hosted by Edda, the Reykjavik Academy and the Icelandic Centre for Ethnology and Folklore of which Kristinn was director before his current post. He also teaches folklore at the University of Iceland, ICEF and other academic institutions. He is involved in various research groups and collaborations such as Nordic Spaces and Iceland and images of the North. His research areas include: folklore, performance, film, transnational representation, mobility, exoticism, irony, identity and images of the north.

Paolo Spada is a Democracy Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. He received his PhD in political science at Yale University in 2012, and his PhD in economics at Bologna University in 2006. His primary research focuses on the impact of institutional design on the relationship between citizens and politicians to better understand issues of accountability, governance, and representation. He has pioneered the application of C.V. experiments to the study electoral candidates’ behavior. His work on Brazilian participatory budgeting (PB) has quantified for the first time the significant political effects of this process and has shed new light on PB diffusion. His experimental work on small group deliberative discussions has quantified the moderators’ effect on attitudes formation, and has identified a weak spot of deliberative processes that might be exploited by interested groups. He is currently working on how to employ crowd-sourcing and deliberative and participatory design within political parties.

Ruti Teitel, Ernst C. Stiefel Prof of Comparative Law, New York Law School

Björg Thorarensen is a Professor of Law at the University of Iceland. Her main fields of research are constitutional law, international law and human rights law. She was a member of the Constitutional Committee elected by Althingi on 16 June 2010 to prepare the work of the Constitutional Assembly, and chairman of the Board of the Human Rights Institute of the University of Iceland. She has published textbooks and a number of articles in the fields of constitutional law, international law and human rights in Icelandic and foreign languages.

Philippe Urfalino is a Senior Researcher at the French “National Center for Scientific Research” (CNRS), Professor at the “Institute for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences” (EHESS) in Paris and Director of the Raymond Aron Center for Political and Sociological Studies (CESPRA). He has written several books on French cultural policies and on pharmaceutical agencies. His last books are L’invention de la politique culturelle (Pluriel-Fayard, 2004) and Le grand méchant loup pharmaceutique (Textuel, 2005). He is currently writing a book on collective decision”

Sylvia Walby is Distinguished Professor of Sociology and UNESCO Chair in Gender Research at Lancaster University, UK. She has been Professor of Sociology in the Universities of Leeds and Bristol, and Reader at the LSE. She was the founding President of the European Sociological Association, 1995-7; President of the Research Committee on Economy and Society of the International Sociological Association, 2006-10; awarded an OBE for services to equal opportunities and diversity; and is an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences. Recent books include Globalization and Inequalities: Complexity and Contested Modernities (Sage 2009) and The Future of Feminism (Polity 2011).   Her next book will be Neoliberalism and its Alternatives (Polity 2013).

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