Cambridge University Press
1. Jun, 2018

Chain of Legitimacy: Constitution Making in Iceland

In Jon Elster, Roberto Gargarella, Vatsal Naresh og Bjørn Erik Rasch (eds.), Constituent Assemblies.


To understand Iceland´s political situation, it is necessary to consider the historical background to the post-crash constitutional revision process launched in 2009. Also, the paper offers a brief account of some aspects of the constitution-making process during 2010-2013, including the work of the Constituent Assembly. Further, the paper describes Parliament’s ongoing attempt to undermine the substance of the constitutional bill accepted by two thirds of the voters in the 2012 referendum. A national parliament cannot, without undermining its own legitimacy, allow the results of a constitutional referendum to be changed after the fact even if the referendum was advisory.