Author: Chris Smith

Public Policy Network Citizens Participation Group – Notes from a meeting

We are grateful to to the Public Policy Network Citizens Participation Group  for a copy of the notes from a meeting with Professor Thorvaldur Gylfason.  You can download the document – ‘Iceland’s Pots and Pans Revolution – Some Background’ here.

The Icelandic Constitution Explained

Great meeting on March 29th in Parliament with Professor Thorvaldur Gylfason who won the highest number of votes in elections for the Commission to write Iceland’s “crowd sourced” constitution. The ICC had no elected politicians – now the Icelandic Parliament are chewing over the radical changes a referendum to approve the constitution will take place on the same day i...Read More

Building Cabins and Building Character: A Knowledge Exchange event at the Scottish Parliament

Over seventy people crammed into Committee Room One of the Scottish Parliament last Friday to listen to two experts in different elements of the Norwegian outdoor experience talk about their own approaches to it and what this could entail for Scotland. Delegates from the 2012 Nordic Research Network conference, hosted by the Scandinavian Studies section at the University of Edinburgh, and members ...Read More

Notes from a lecture

Lesley Riddoch, acclaimed Scottish journalist and commentator, visited the University of Oslo on 28 February to give a lecture on Scottish independence and Nordic linkages. The event was co-hosted by British Politics Society, Norway and the students’ union at the Department of Political Science. In front of a young academic audience, Riddoch emphasised the proximity between Scotland and the Nordic...Read More

Iceland’s home-made Constitution – lessons for Scotland – Next Event

Iceland has made a steady recovery from the banking crash of 2008 which saw the country placed on the UK Terrorism Register. Slowly but surely this Nordic nation of just 300,000 people has been making sure such a crisis can never undermine the whole country again. It became clear that the 1944 Constitution (written when Iceland declared independence from Denmark), needed major revision. So a group...Read More

Size Matters by Lesley Riddoch and Paddy Bort

"The process of centralisation of governance has gone further in Scotland than in other countries. Highland Council, to take the most striking example, covers an area the size of Belgium with a population the size of Belfast. Councillors need to drive hundreds of thousands of miles a year to connect with fellow councillors and citizens in their council area. Despite such herculean efforts, ma...Read More

Gibson on decentralisation – “This is my personal priority.”

The debate over whether powers should be decentralised in the Highlands came to the fore today, as Caithness Sutherland & Ross MSP, Rob Gibson, declared the return of power to communities his ‘personal priority’. Mr Gibson said that during this, his final term as an MSP, he would do everything he could to bring about greater decentralisation and local control in the Highlands. Mr Gibson made t...Read More

Small nation culture

I've been thinking we should have more debate between meetings of the Nordic Horizons group. (for more info see www.nordichorizons.org ) And maybe your responses can help us get the best focus for meetings currently being planned – and one is being planned about small nations culture. So here are some thoughts about the cultures of small northern Nordic nations– are they suffocatingly couthy o...Read More

The Swedish Social Democratic Party. Our Principles and Values

Lesley posted this on Facebook yesterday ; Thanks to Dr Audrey MacDougall for sending over this document sent to her by Prof John Veit-Wilson of Newcastle University. He says, "In these troubled political times, readers interested in the ideological basis of Nordic social democratic welfare states, and concerned about renewal of the Labour Party, may like to see the attached booklet by the Sw...Read More

STOP PRESS – 31 tickets left

The North Sea oil spill has made our High North debate horribly topical all of a sudden. So has the news that Statoil’s latest North Sea oil discovery (in Aldous Major South) is the biggest in 20 years. So is the Far North safe in Nordic hands? Do the Norwegians have systems ready to close down leaks more quickly than the British sector and less secretive oil companies – if not can they honestly s...Read More

Is the far north safe in Nordic hands? – More details

Is the far north safe in Nordic hands? 13:30 – 14:30, Committee Room 1, FREE. The Arctic region contains a high proportion of the world’s fish stocks, includes important breeding grounds and has huge untapped supplies of oil and gas. The Norwegian government is pledged to exploit natural resources without harming this precious environment. On the 150th anniversary of the birth of explorer Fr...Read More

Is the Arctic safe in Nordic hands? – A Date for Your Diary!

"The world in 2050 will be radically different from today. Northern countries – notably Canada, Russia and Scandinavia – will rise at the expense of southern ones." So says Laurence Smith whose book "The New North" has been a bestseller. Nordic Horizons invites you to hear more about the reality of change in the Arctic with Rune Rafaelson, General Secretary of the K...Read More

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