Nordic Exceptionalism and Gendered Peacekeeping: The Case of Iceland


Loftsdóttir, Kristín, and Helga Björnsdóttir. 2015. “Nordic Exceptionalism and Gendered Peacekeeping: The Case of Iceland.” European Journal of Women’s Studies 22 (2): 208–22. doi:10.1177/1350506814543839.

Authors: Kristín Loftsdóttir, Helga Björnsdóttir


The Nordic countries have been major contributors to peacekeeping, often seen as particularly well suited due to their lack of ties to colonialism and supposedly peaceful nature. The article critically addresses this idea in relation to how gender equality has been conceptualized in peacekeeping taking as an example Icelandic peacekeeping. Iceland’s recent engagement in peacekeeping has strongly emphasized gender issues but has lacked an engagement with issues of power and domination and thus reflects a particular idea of ‘Nordic exceptionalism’. The authors emphasize in their discussion the need to maintain critical feminist perspectives that take diverse relations of power into account.

Keywords: exceptionalism, gender, Iceland, peacekeeping, racism

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Peacekeeping, Race Regions: Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Iceland

Year: 2015

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