Has Scottish devolution been a success?

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The paper introduces a new systematic assessment conceptual framework to evaluate Scottish devolution. In doing so it draws from various strands of literature including public policy, constitutional and territorial politics. It utilizes McConnell’s (2010) framework and distinguish between process, programmatic and political success. It explores the various dimensions of the policy of devolution, highlighting that devolution is viewed as a success by both unionists and non-unionists with both working within the existing settlement as well as projecting alternative Scottish constitutional futures. This success may be transient and vulnerable for each sowing the seeds of potential failure as both view devolution as successful for different reasons. For both it has provided a platform for increasing Scottish self-governance. For unionists this process strengthens the union, while for non-unionists it sows the seeds for increasing autonomous and independent government.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages33
Publication statusPublished - 5 Apr 2012
EventPublic Administration Conference - Birmingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 5 Sept 20117 Sept 2011


ConferencePublic Administration Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • devolution
  • scottish government
  • scottish national party
  • government


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