POLI 1P95 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Thatcherism, Secretary Of State For Scotland, Neoliberalism
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February 23: Scotland, To the Brink of Independence
● Why did Scottish nationalism emerge despite a lack of an ‘ethnic’ component?
● Why is Scottish nationalism explicitly ‘multicultural’?
● Why did Scots vote ‘no’ to independence in 2014?
● history of sovereignty
● ‘countries’ in the United Kingdom are not sovereign, they had pre-existing sovereignties
which merged together
Scotland and the British State:
● 1707 Act of Union: a marriage of convenience. Was not from colonization, Scottish
crown saw economic and industrial benefits to join with England. Peaceful process of
● DIid national identity in Scotland pre-date 1707?
○ conflicts with England
○ Church of Scotland (the Kirk), both churches had a very similar version of
Christianity, but the churches were still very different and separate, to show that
Scotland was its own sovereign place before 1707.
● The Act of Union fostered Scottish identity
○ The UK is a union-state (not a nation-state), comfortable with multi nationalities
from its inception. Was not a goal to create a common identity.
○ Scotland and Wales have their own sports leagues and sports teams in
Scotland’s post-union identity
● Scots law, many courts in Scotland disregard laws in court made by the UK, according to
their civil traditions
● The Kirk- the churches in GB did not merge, this was before the welfare state. The Kirk
was able to maintain their connection with the Scottish people, this left very little
possibility for the parliament in GB to create one British identity.
● Education: Parliament did not make a centralized education system because of the
union. Scottish education could emphasize Scottish history over UK’s.
○ Today: Scottish universities are free, unlike in England
● Administrative autonomy: it was clear in the union that although Scotland had freedom,
UK is a centralized state. But Scotland had administrative capacities over sectors such
as pension and education, and the administrators catered to the unique Scottish people.
But these administrators could not create the laws and regulations…. led to stronger
Scottish nationalism and desire for independence. If there had been formal federalism
would this have happened?
● Post 1945: British Welfare State. Churches and local communities are no longer
responsible for social services, it is now the role/responsibility of the British gov’t to
provide. This became part of British identity. This is part of the attempt to begin to create
a single British identity.
Before separatist Scottish nationalism:
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