Gissurarson Interview in New Zealand

In June 2017, RNH Academic Director Professor Hannes H. Gissurarson published an article in The Conservative, published by ECR (European Conservatives and Reformists) in Brussels, ‘Why Small Countries are Richer and Happier’. The article has been widely discussed, even by leftwing intellectuals like Nick Slater in New Zealand. On 15 December 2019, Professor Gissurarson was in a long Sunday morning interview at Radio New Zealand about his argument where he discussed the case for small states: they usually are cohesive and transparent, less aggressive, and maintain open economies which enables them to benefit from international division of labour through free trade. In some of them, like the Nordic countries and New Zealand, the Rule of Law is also a strong tradition. The chief weakness of small states is their powerlessness against larger and more aggressive neighbours (as the Baltic states discovered after the 1939 Non-Aggression Pact between Hitler and Stalin and Tibet after the Second World War), and this weakness can be tackled partly by alliances with other larger and friendlier neighbours (such as with the United States in the cases of Iceland and New Zealand) and by alliances between small states themselves: United we stand, divided we fall. Gissurarson also pointed out that Iceland and New Zealand had much in common in many ways. The Anglo-Saxon and Nordic political traditions were closely related.

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