The United Kingdom: Nationalism, Devolution, and Social Policy

Daniel Béland and André Lecours

in Nationalism and Social Policy

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780199546848
Published online September 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191720468 | DOI:
The United Kingdom: Nationalism, Devolution, and Social Policy

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Chapter 3 looks at Scotland in the United Kingdom to explore the relationship between nationalism and social policy. It explains how the relationship between British nation-building and social policy emerged during the post-war era and outlines the particular importance of this process in Scotland, which depended more upon social benefits than did the South of England. It then explores the mobilization process favouring devolution for Scotland in the context of social policy retrenchment, and shows how these two issues meshed during Thatcherism. Finally, it analyses the impact of devolution on social policy development in Scotland and in the United Kingdom at large. Although it is too early to draw definite conclusions about the nature and extent of this impact, it is clear that the institutional and political transformations involved in devolution have affected policy processes and outcomes.

Keywords: devolution; independence; Labour Party; National Health Service; Scotland; Scottish National Party; social policy; Thatcherism; United Kingdom; welfare state

Chapter.  21145 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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