Few countries in Europe have undergone as many social changes in such a short time as Iceland. Enormous changes in people’s way of life and culture have occurred alongside the modernization and industrialization of the last century.
It was not until the twentieth-century that Icelandic society began to compare with the societies of other European nations in some way. Before then, Iceland had been a traditional agricultural society for centuries.
With new social patterns there came new tasks and new issues. During the last century, Icelanders quarrelled among themselves about economic matters and foreign affairs policy and with other nations about fishing grounds and the storage and preservation of Icelandic manuscripts.
To learn about Icelandic society, culture, and its social system, it is worth examining the leading public issues and concerns of contemporary Iceland more closely. Here, as is often the case, the difficult and major issues which concern a large proportion of the people converge.
Amongst the most controversial issues in Iceland these days are the economic situation, environmental issues and the European Union.