Thursday, 9 October 2014

Roundtable on the Scottish Referendum

Held on Tuesday 7 October, at 3pm in Heslington Hall, H/G21 The Eynns Room

Participants: Professor Martin Smith, Dr Jim Buller, Dr Sandra Leon-Alfonso, Dr Nick Ritchie, Dr Ignacio Jurado

On Tuesday, the 7th of October, the Department of Politics organised a roundtable on the Scottish Referendum that was held on the 18th of September. The event was attended by students and political activists, faculty and members of the public. Several members of staff contributed insights into various aspects of this historic event. Ignacio Jurado provided a detailed analysis of the vote. Several factors were discussed: class, age, gender, economic expectations, ideological commitments, attitudes towards devolution and the establishment. Sandra Alfonso-Leon provided a comparison between the Scottish and Catalan contexts, focusing on the role of political elites, the profile of the independence voter and the position of the rest of the
country. Nick Ritchie approached the topic of nuclear weapons and discussed the function they played in the vision of statehood proposed by the SNP for an independent Scotland – a vision counterpoised to the British foreign and defence policy. Martin Smith broached the thorny topic of constitutional change in the Westminster model and highlighted the democratic illegitimacy of the pledges made by the leaders of the three national parties in the week preceding the referendum. Last but not least, Jim Buller discussed the implications of the Scottish referendum for the upcoming national elections and the projected EU referendum. The presentations were followed by a Q and A period.

Text and photos by Mihaela Mihai

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