Althingi and the executive power

Haukur Arnþórsson


The interrelations and jurisdiction of the Althingi, the Icelandic Parliament, vis-a-vis the executive branch are often a matter of discussion. This paper reports on qualitative research on how Parliament Members and Ministers deal with the factors involved in the state’s authority to enact laws. The main conclusion is that Parliament can and do effectively exercise the right of rejection, at three levels; within the Prime Minister’s party, within the party/-ies that make up the coalition government, and with the opposition parties both before and in the parliamentary handling of any issue involved.
Most of those interviewed considered themselves aware of the overwhelming authority invested in the Parliament as regards enactment of laws, and the research confirms this. Althingi could increase this with the full adoption of the Nordic model of negotiation democracy; this would also increase social quality in society. It could increase the performance of the system of governance as a whole in enactment of laws with changes in the allocation of projects (moved earlier in the process of handling an issue), which should not affect its authority in the matter. It can also strengthen its position as regards its agenda.


Althingi; Althingi’s power; the executive power; the Nordic model; political agenda; state finances.

Full Text:

PDF (Islenska)



  • There are currently no refbacks.


Published by the Institute of Public Administration and Politics of the Faculty of Political Science, University of Iceland.

Hosted by the Computing Services of the University of Iceland.