Chapter

After Devolution: Parliament and People

Asifa Hussain and William Miller

in Multicultural Nationalism

Published in print July 2006 | ISBN: 9780199280711
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191604102 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199280711.003.0009
After Devolution: Parliament and People

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‘Multicultural nationalism’ comes very close to being an oxymoron: devolution increased national self-consciousness and 9/11 added to the problems of multiculturalism everywhere, including Scotland. But in practice, potential problems proved to be solutions. Since England has a key role in defining Scottish identity, Scottish nationalism stimulates Anglophobia but not Islamophobia, and Muslims can use Scottish nationalism as a tool of integration. 9/11 made life worse for Muslims in Scotland, but not as much as elsewhere. Thus, 9/11 and the ‘war on terror’ bound Muslims more closely to Scotland. Although both minorities criticized the governing performance of the new Scottish Parliament, both felt that its street-level impact has been more positive than negative. English immigrants feel that devolution has defused tensions, and Muslims self-consciously distinguish between the positive impact of devolution and the concurrent, negative impact of 9/11. Against the odds, multiculturalism and sub-state nationalism have not merely coexisted, but actually interacted positively within post-devolution Scotland.

Keywords: oxymoron; devolution; multicultural nationalism; Anglophobia; Islamophobia; 9/11; war on terror; Scottish Parliament; governing performance; street-level impact

Chapter.  10863 words. 

Subjects: UK Politics

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