Category Archives: Volume 13, no. 1 (2018)

The Impact of Amalgamations on Services in Icelandic Municipalities

This article deals with answering the question whether municipal amalgamations can meet the wishes at the root of the most common motives behind them: to gain cost-efficiency and more quality in the municipal services. The analysis is partly based on a survey among Icelandic local leaders in 2015 and partly on survey among citizens in 8 recently amalgamated municipalities collected with a snowball method through Facebook in the spring and summer 2013. The main results are that the impact of amalgamations on municipal services seems to depend on whether we look at the central or peripheral parts of the municipality. Both leaders and citizens seem to perceive developments of services differently depending on the position in the municipality. In the peripheries, they have significantly more negative view than in the service centres. This has to do with both their evaluation of specific services and their general evaluation of service development. However, in the general evaluation the difference is significantly larger.

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Underemployment of Immigrant Women in Iceland – A case study

The number of immigrants living in Iceland has been steadily on the rise for the last decade; between 2007 and 2017, the percentage of immigrants living in Iceland has increased from 7.6 % to 11.9%. Akureyri, the largest town in the North of Iceland with considerable industry and service, has seen its immigrant population double in the last decade, and is now home to 931 immigrants for a total of 18 488 inhabitants. New research from the University of Akureyri shows that immigrant women are the most vulnerable people in the labour market in Iceland. Many occupy positions that do not fit with their level of education; despite having received higher education than men. For example, in the survey conducted 30% of immigrant women in Akureyri answered that they are in employment that does not suit their background, compared to the same answer by only 8% of Icelandic women. This difference has a direct impact on the income: just 11% of immigrant women answered that they earn 300 000 ISK or more per month, compared to 37% for Icelandic women and 22% for immigrant men.

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Timo Koivurova, QIN Tianbao, Sébastien Duyck & Tapio Nykänen (eds.), Arctic Law and Governance: The Role of China and Finland (London: Hart Publishing, 2017)

A review of the book:  Arctic Law and Governance: The Role of China and Finland, edited by Timo Koivurova, QIN Tianbao, Sébastien Duyck and Tapio Nykänen (Hart Publishing, 2017) pp 288 & xviii, 120 USD (hardback)

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A Theory of Citizenship Rights

The question of immigrants’ access to citizenship and the attendant right of political participation remains a major challenge for contemporary democracies. In contemporary democratic states, only “full members” of the society are granted with citizenship. Criteria for full membership differ, and the notion is ambiguously employed in the literature to designate both one’s social links to a country and one’s propensity to identify with a given nationality. It has become received wisdom that permanent residence in the state is necessary for immigrants to become full members of the society and thereby acquire citizenship. However, several sociological studies have shown that the social and psychological facts which comprise full membership may vary independently of residence. Such evidence suggests that numerous immigrants are wrongly denied citizenship. Several attempts – at finding a better grounding for determining immigrant’s full membership – are compared and evaluated. A new criterion is then proposed based on Dewey’s notion of the public. Citizenship is traditionally considered a protective and safe membership status. The second part of this paper argues that some citizenship statuses such as naturalized citizenship and citizenship of dual nationals do not represent a secure and stable ground for rights. In particular, this work focuses on discussing citizenship deprivation in liberal democracies.

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