Scottish Democracy in a Time of Nationalism

Issue Date July 2009
Volume 20
Issue 3
Page Numbers 56-70
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The Scottish National Party (SNP) controls Scotland’s devolved government just as support for complete separation from the rest of Great Britain is growing. The party is cautious about strengthening the democratic basis of Scottish governance and its nationalism is paradoxical. The SNP recoils from popular sovereignty being an enthusiastic backer of the European Union’s plans for a post-national Europe. It also gives similar endorsement to radical forms of multiculturalism. But for all its incoherence it stands a real chance of breaking up the 300-year union state mainly due to the failure of its opponents to devise a convincing British counter-narrative or indeed a form of broad nationalism that falls short of separation.