Norway: The Embarrassment of Riches
In early 2013, Norway was by many accounts the world's most developed country; it topped various indices for everything from democracy to happiness, had a comprehensive welfare state, and massive oil revenues endowed it with a substantial, and growing, Sovereign Wealth Fund. The governing coalition, anchored in the historically near-hegemonic Labour Party, had embraced peacemaking activities abroad and increasingly freer immigration policies at home, pursuing an aim of "liberal multiculturalism" that had invited both accolades and increasingly hostile criticism. More recent years had seen a change of government and falling oil prices, but Norway continued to top world development indexes. Now, in 2017, however, citizens of the country questioned both the government's decision to turn a blind eye to ethical considerations in its pursuit of exports, and to environmental concerns in drilling for ever more oil and gas in fragile arctic ecosystems. Was there such thing as enough?