The Scottish Party System at 20

The twentieth anniversary of devolution provides an obvious opportunity for reflection.  Twenty years of the Scottish Parliament has seen five first ministers, three acts pertaining to devolution, three commissions, a ‘national conversation’ and a referendum on Scotland’s place in the Union.  Before his death in 1994, Labour leader John Smith…

Published by The School of Social Science, University of Aberdeen

The End of the Whig Constitutution

The British constitution has long been admired around the world for stability and consensus. Forged in the civil wars across the three kingdoms in the seventeenth century, it has often been presented as an effective balance between executive and legislative power. Originally the instrument of oligarchy, it gradually adapted to…

Published by The School of Social Science, University of Aberdeen

Cyprus: dangerous row over gas exploration dates back to British colonial meddling

French president Emmanuel Macron recently spoke out against Turkey exploring for natural gas in waters claimed by Cyprus, and Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan, the Turkish leader, was quick to rebuke him: “We are one of the guarantor countries in Cyprus. Greece and the United Kingdom are also the guarantor countries. What…

Published by The School of Social Science, University of Aberdeen

Growing up in Aberdeen. Children of the Nineteen Fifties: A special study.

Aberdeen has seen dramatic changes since the 1950s.  The “Granite City” had developed around industries such as paper making, fishing, quarrying and agricultural machinery.  Then with the discovery of oil in the 1970s it was transformed into the oil capital of Europe as new wealth and new people arrived.  Social…

Published by The School of Social Science, University of Aberdeen

Brexit and Scotland

The central promise of Brexit was to ‘take back control’ or, in more technical language, regain sovereignty. Initially, this was expressed as the sovereignty of the Westminster Parliament but, after the referendum, this changed to the sovereignty of the ‘the British people’. Either way, membership of the EU was seen…

Published by The School of Social Science, University of Aberdeen

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