Public Attitudes

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This last week has seen the unedifying spectacle of not one, but two, social media stramashes focusing on the indyref participation of individual women. Clare Lally, a carers’ advocate who happens also to be an active member of the Labour party, and Joanne Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series of novels, both advanced their beliefs that Scotland would be better off staying as part of the union and were subject to a sexist chorus of derision on social media.

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I have spoken about gender equality, care policy and its relevance to the referendum on Scottish independence in a series of recent events aimed at non-academic audiences: a lecture for international women’s day, a debate for the 5 Million Questions series at the University of Dundee and an appearance on Newsnight Scotland. In all of them I have made the points that are emerging from the early stages of our ‘Fairer, Caring Nations’ project:

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It is commonly asserted that what most Scots would like to happen after the referendum is for Scotland to have a more powerful parliament in Edinburgh, while remaining part of the United Kingdom.

This is, in truth, a considerable exaggeration. It would be more accurate to say that more devolution is the least unpopular of the various options that have been proposed. Even then it is far from clear that Scots accept all of the implications that giving Holyrood more power – and responsibility – would bring.

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Latest blogs

  • 21st June 2018

    New research conducted by the universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow suggests that a post-Brexit Scotland is likely to find itself losing out on much-needed low-skilled migrant labour from the European Economic Area (EEA) to English-speaking countries such as North America, Australia, and to countries within the EEA.

  • 19th June 2018

    Following the collapse of the Rajoy government following a corruption scandal, how does the new political landscape affect the constitutional debate in Catalonia? Prof Antonia María Ruiz Jiménez of Universidad Pablo de Olavide suggests that this apparently dramatic change will make relatively little difference.

  • 13th June 2018

    While populist leaders and movements make headlines worldwide, an often more subtle majority nationalism remains an endemic condition of the modern world. This phenomenon is comparatively understudied. The Centre on Constitutional Change invites calls for abstracts for an international workshop on the topic of majority nationalism, to be held in February 2019.

  • 31st May 2018

    The recent report by the Growth Commission contains some interesting ideas, says Michael Keating, but also makes some problematic assumptions.

  • 30th May 2018

    The Scottish and Welsh Governments worked together closely during their negotiations with the UK Government over those aspects of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill that related to devolution. Despite ultimately choosing different paths, say Hedydd Phylip and Greg Davies, this spirit of cooperation looks set to continue.

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