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A Wealthier, Fairer ScotlandThe Political Economy of Constitutional Change$
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Michael Keating

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474416429

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474416429.001.0001

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Constitutional Change, Social Investment and Prevention Policy in Scotland

Constitutional Change, Social Investment and Prevention Policy in Scotland

(p.110) 6 Constitutional Change, Social Investment and Prevention Policy in Scotland
A Wealthier, Fairer Scotland

Paul Cairney

Malcolm Harvey

Emily St Denny

Edinburgh University Press

The prospect of Scottish independence allowed commentators the chance to reconsider the Scottish Government’s social policy choices. The idea of ‘social investment’ grew in importance since it fits well with the vague notion that Scottish independence is a social democratic project, offering an alternative to ‘austerity politics’ and ‘neoliberalism’. It also complements an existing Scottish Government agenda to reduce inequalities and address its decreasing budget by reducing acute public service demand through ‘early intervention’ and ‘prevention’ policies. However, this chapter identifies a limited impact of such developments on government policy. Social investment is rarely properly defined, and prevention often describes a broad aspiration rather than a specific policy agenda. Policymakers are pursuing a vague solution to an unclear problem. This chapter discusses how key actors can take forward this agenda, to learn from international experience and from domestic experiments with ‘evidence based policymaking’.

Keywords:   Scottish independence, Scottish devolution, Scottish government, Social Investment, Prevention policy, Evidence based policy

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