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Scotland and the Union 1707-2007$
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Tom Devine

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780748635412

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748635412.001.0001

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

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

(p.195) 12 Where Stands the Union Now? Scottish-English Relations after Devolution
Scotland and the Union 1707-2007
T.M. Devine
Edinburgh University Press

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

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