Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Active CitizenshipWhat Could it Achieve and How?$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Bernard Crick and Andrew Lockyer

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780748638666

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748638666.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 22 May 2022

Active Citizenship and Sharing Power in Scotland: the Need to Go Beyond Devolution

Active Citizenship and Sharing Power in Scotland: the Need to Go Beyond Devolution

(p.171) 12 Active Citizenship and Sharing Power in Scotland: the Need to Go Beyond Devolution
Active Citizenship

Kevin Francis

Edinburgh University Press

Drawing on the perspective of democratic theory, this chapter argues that the prospect of Scottish independence provides a realistic opportunity for radical political innovation. It insists that the hoped-for levels of civic engagement, delivering the fourth principle of power sharing with the people, have not been achieved in Scotland. It also pursues the ideas of popular sovereignty and democratic participation found in the writings of John Stuart Mill and developed by modern theorists of deliberative democracy. The chapter proposes a form of direct political decision-making by citizens akin to that derived from classical Athenian democracy. It also suggests various ways in which bills, after parliamentary deliberation and vote, might be put to randomly selected juries of 10,000 or 20,000 for ‘popular assent’ or rejection. The central idea is that when citizens act as jurors they are trusted to exercise real power on behalf of their fellow citizens; arguably they act above and beyond sectional, party or local interests. In this role, civic duty carries a collective responsibility which transcends partiality and particular identity.

Keywords:   Scotland, independence, civic engagement, power sharing, popular sovereignty, democratic participation, John Stuart Mill, deliberative democracy, civic duty

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.