Where Stands the Union Now? Scottish-English Relations after Devolution

Edited by T.M. Devine

in Scotland and the Union 1707-2007

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2008 | ISBN: 9780748635412
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748672202 | DOI:
Where Stands the Union Now? Scottish-English Relations after Devolution

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This chapter considers Ron Davies' view, arguing that the way devolution was implemented has opened up the scope for debate about political community in the UK. It also investigates the institutional forms which link Scottish and UK/English governments. The devolution reforms rested on the residual territorial non-uniformity of the ‘state of unions’. The unmanaged divergence, displacement of legitimacy problems, the English problem, the borderless public opinion across the UK, and the weak intergovernmental co-ordination are the five problems of piecemeal devolution. The institutional expression of political community at a UK scale stays largely uncoupled from the institutional expressions of political community at the devolved scale. The election of a nationalist government in Scotland in 2007 takes the territorial dynamics out of ‘family’ politics and brings a mutually reinforcing partisan and territorial cleavage into UK-Scottish relations.

Keywords: devolution; Ron Davies; political community; UK-Scottish relations; nationalist government; Scotland; UK

Chapter.  5499 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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