Nicola McEwen

Co-Director, Centre on Constitutional Change
University of Edinburgh
Professor of Territorial Politics


Nicola is Co-Director of the CCC. She leads the CCC's research on devolution and inter-institutional relations as a Fellow on our ongoing major ESRC-funded project, Between Two Unions: The Constitutional Future of the Islands after Brexit. She oversees the Centre's extensive programme of knowledge exchange, ensuring that academic research and expertise informs decisions and understanding of constitutional change.

Nicola is also a Senior Fellow within the UK in a Changing Europe, an initiative supported by the ESRC to examine the UK's relationship with the EU and to inform the Brexit process. She leads its research on devolution and the impact of Brexit on the future of the UK. Her new project, entitled A Family of Nations? Brexit, Devolution and the Union, explores intergovernmental relations in UK-EU negotiations, future trade negotiations, the development of the UK domestic market, and the effects of Brexit on the politics of independence. In addition, she is part of a project team exploring the potential effects of Brexit for the multi-level governance of energy, supported by the UK Energy Research Centre.

Nicola was previously Principal Investigator of one of the UK in a Changing Europe's prestigious Brexit Priority Grants, which examined the Repatriation of Competences and the Implications for Devolution. Other recent research projects include an ESRC Senior Scotland Fellowship exploring the implications of Scottish independence for cross-border relations. She is a Fellow of the Constitution Unit at University College London. 

Nicola has published widely in the field of territorial politics, nationalism, devolution, and multi-level parties and elections. She is actively involved in informing debate within the wider policy and political community. She frequently provides expert media commentary and advice to parliamentarians and governments, regularly takes part in public and stakeholder events, and offers tailored briefings and consultancy upon request.

Recent academic publications can be found at:



Is the principal of a politically neutral @GOVUK civil service under threat because of #Brexit ? @ProfJimG reflects…

7 hours ago

RT @UKandEU: Wales is grappling with a multi-party system, inter-party alliances and dramatic volatility @Jaclarner and @DanielWinc explain…

8 hours ago

RT @UKandEU: First, @McEwen_Nicola sets out the dynamics in Scotland: there are 31 seats across the UK with majorities under 1% — 12 of the…

8 hours ago

Are opinion polls trustworthy? What are the polls saying about #GeneralElection19 ? Richard Parry discusses the med…

13 hours ago

Posts by this author

Scottish Border

A very different general election in Scotland

The dynamics of the upcoming general election are very different in Scotland in comparison to the rest of the UK, argues Nicola McEwen in her blog for UK in a Changing Europe, as Brexit is unlikely to be the defining issue, and the SNP look to dominate force.

Legislating for EU withdrawal: do the devolved institutions really have 'no role'?

There has been no analysis comparing the treatment of devolution in May's and Johnson's Brexit deals, even though the Withdrawal Agreement could have profound impact on devolved institutions. In this blog from UK in a Changing Europe, Nicola McEwen discusses the role of devolved institutions in scrutinising the Withdrawal Agreement Bill.

A territorial perspective on the UK proposals to replace the backstop

Nicola McEwen asks how might the devolved governments of Wales and Scotland respond to Boris Johnson's proposals for Northern Ireland?
Ruth Davidson leader of the Scottish Conservatives

Will Ruth Davidson’s resignation have an impact on Brexit?

In a blog originally published at the UK in a Changing Europe, Professor Nicola McEwen discusses the implications of Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson's resignation.
20 years devolution

Scottish Parliament at 20: what does the future hold?

In this week's instalment of our Twenty Years of Devolution blog series CCC Co-director Professor Nicola McEwen looks at how Brexit in particular will shape the Scottish Parliament's future.
UK map

Towards a Devolution Backstop? UK government-devolved government relations after Brexit.

Two years after the invocation of Article 50, CCC Co-Director Professor Nicola McEwen analyses the state of relations between London and the devolved administrations, warning that if Brexit damages the autonomy of the devolved institutions without increasing their influence, relationships between the UK’s territories may become ever more strained.