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The security imaginaries of an unarmed people: popular and elite security discourses in Iceland
Omarsdottir, Silja Bara
University College Cork
This dissertation analyzes public and elite security discourses in Iceland, drawing on focus group interviews and political debates to develop an understanding of what serves as the foundation of security and insecurity at the societal, environmental, and political levels. The thesis uses discourse analysis to approach the data (collected from 2012 to 2016) and analyzes it from the perspective of critical security studies, in particular an ontological security framework. The findings suggest that there is a discrepancy between the security discourses of the public and the political elite, with the public being far more focused on threats to societal and environmental security, and the political elite on politico-military security. There is, however, also an apparent divide within the political elite, with the right wing emphasizing politico-military security, and the left wing emphasizing environmental security, and, to some extent, societal security as well. These divides suggest that attempts at securitization after the departure of the US military from Iceland in 2006 have not been successful, and that it will be difficult to have a meaningful debate about security in, and for, Iceland.
Security , Iceland , Icelandic foreign policy
Omarsdottir, S. B. 2018. The security imaginaries of an unarmed people: popular and elite security discourses in Iceland. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.