Nicola McEwen

Report
If Scotland stays:
What next for Scottish
nationalism?
Dr Nicola McEwen
University of Edinburgh
Associate Director, Scottish Centre on Constitutional Change
Unpacking the Question
What do we
nationalism?
mean
by
Scottish
What would a NO vote mean for the
SNP?
What would a NO vote mean for the
prospects for independence?
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
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
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”
The SNP Government’s Gamble:
Absence of Grievance - Presence of Opportunity
parliamentary share of
seats at 2007 and 2011
Scottish elections
SNP
Labour
Cons
Lib Dems
Others
The only catalyst =
SNP electoral success
Parliamentary majority
= political
opportunity
Electoral success
NOT a result of
independence
demands
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”
Emergence of the Independence Movement
(Source: Bella Caledonia)
The Effect of a NO vote on the
SNP’s independence goal
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”
Continuing the Devolution journey
without nationalist cause
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
Further info
Dr Nicola McEwen, University of Edinburgh
Email: N.McEwen@ed.ac.uk
@mcewen_nicola
Future of the UK and Scotland Programme website:
http://www.futureukandscotland.ac.uk
@UKScotland

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