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If Scotland stays: What next for Scottish nationalism? Dr Nicola McEwen University of Edinburgh Associate Director, Scottish Centre on Constitutional Change.

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Presentation on theme: "If Scotland stays: What next for Scottish nationalism? Dr Nicola McEwen University of Edinburgh Associate Director, Scottish Centre on Constitutional Change."— Presentation transcript:

1 If Scotland stays: What next for Scottish nationalism? Dr Nicola McEwen University of Edinburgh Associate Director, Scottish Centre on Constitutional Change

2  What do we mean by Scottish nationalism?  What would a NO vote mean for the SNP?  What would a NO vote mean for the prospects for independence? Unpacking the Question

3 From national distinctiveness to nationalist mobilisation  Distinctive territorial community/identity mobilised to demand change  Political party/strong civil society capable of channelling demands  A sense of grievance, or ‘frustration’ with status quo – a catalyst for change “to accept the existence of multiple identities, mutually compatible or not, within a territorial state says nothing about their metamorphosis from social distinctiveness to political expression”. Such a trans-formation requires the “injection of catalysts” Rokkan and Urwin Economy Territory, Identity, 1983

4 Nationalist Movement 1979 – (pre-)1997  Divergence between Scottish and ‘English’ voting patterns  ‘Democratic deficit’ > political grievance.  Strengthening of Scottish national identity and weakening of Britishness  Broad-based movement united around support for Scottish Parliament  Fusion of identity, nationalism and party/ideological politics To be anti-Conservative = pro ‘home rule’ = Scottish identity = pro social democracy

5 Civil Society & the “Claim of Right for Scotland” “We, gathered as the Scottish Constitutional Convention, do hereby acknowledge the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine the form of Government best suited to their needs”

6 The SNP Government’s Gamble: Absence of Grievance - Presence of Opportunity  The only catalyst = SNP electoral success  Parliamentary majority = political opportunity  Electoral success NOT a result of independence demands

7 Defining Independence  Legitimacy of Scotland’s ‘right to decide’  Government-backed blueprint for an independent Scotland  ‘Embedded independence’ within EU and British Isles  Currency union; energy partnership; common travel area; common research area; ‘National’ lottery; cross-border functional bodies  Emphasis on continuities and change  “Scotland will continue to have a close and special relationship with the other nations of these isles. This will be a new, updated partnership of equals between the people of Scotland and the rest of the UK”

8 Emergence of the Independence Movement (Source: Bella Caledonia)

9  Continued assertion of Scottish distinctiveness/interests within the Union  With more or less leverage, less influence….?  Continued commitment to Independence  Retention of referendum strategy, but without immediate manifesto commitment  Future referendum as response to external catalyst & PQ’s “winning conditions” The Effect of a NO vote on the SNP’s independence goal

10 Continuing the Devolution journey without nationalist cause

11 Reclaiming & redefining ‘Devo Max’ as a nationalist goal  Full fiscal autonomy  Employment & competition law; regulation of companies  Broadcasting, inc new public service broadcasting bodies  Social security, with fiscal autonomy – to design new benefit, tax credit & employment support system  Equalities legislation  Energy policy, marine regulation & Crown Estates  Formal participation rights in EU policy-making

12 Dr Nicola McEwen, University of Edinburgh Future of the UK and Scotland Programme website: Further info


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