Icelandic Cultural Policy

Njörður Sigurjónsson


In Mars 2013 the Icelandic Parliament decided upon the first formal "Icelandic Cultural Policy". In this article that document is examined in light of debates concerning the concept of deliberate cultural policy making. Two main themes stand out as central in the new policy: participation/access on the one hand, and the importance of rules and procedures on the other. It is also noteworthy that there is less emphasis on national identity and Icelandic cultural heritage than perhaps was suspected. Even if there is no one definition that can be considered the right one for "cultural policy" (O. Bennett 2004; T. Bennett 2007; Frenander 2008; Gray 2010), it is important to understand and make clear those interpretations that may be dominant at a particular moment in time. For more in depth insight this study compares a few recent reviews and studies of cultural policies (Gestur Guðmundsson 2003; Haukur F. Hannessonar 2009; Bjarki Valtýsson 2011; Ágúst Einarsson 2012) and all these threads spin the narrative of contemporary debates on cultural policy in Iceland.


Cultural Policy; Cultural Management; Strategy Aesthetics.

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