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Scotland and Arbroath 1320 – 2020

700 Years of Fighting for Freedom, Sovereignty, and Independence


Edited By Klaus Peter Müller

700 years of people in Scotland, England, Europe, and the world fighting for freedom, sovereignty, independence and justice are investigated in the essential periods and cultures since the 1320 Declaration of Arbroath: the Middle Ages, the Reformation and Early Modern Age, the English Revolution, the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. Cultural, media, political, and social studies, history, the law, art, philosophy, and literature are used for an analysis of the evolution of human rights, democracy, freedom, individual as well as national independence and justice in connection with past and present threats to them. Threats from politics, the economy, digitalisation, artificial intelligence, people's ignorance.


With contributions by Alasdair Allan MSP, Christopher J. Berry, Neil Blain, Alexander Broadie FRSE, Dauvit Broun, Mark P. Bruce, Ewen A. Cameron, Robert Crawford, Ian Duncan, Richard J. Finlay, David Forrest, Edouard Gaudot, Marjory Harper, Sarah Longlands, Ben McConville, David McCrone, Aileen McHarg, John Morrison, Klaus Peter Müller, Hugh O’Donnell, Murray Pittock, Anthony Salamone, David R. Sorensen, Silke Stroh, Christopher A. Whatley and Ben Wray.

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(Re)Covering the Declaration of Arbroath: International Perspectives on a National Claim of Right (Ben McConville and Hugh O’Donnell (Glasgow))


Ben McConville and Hugh O’Donnell (Glasgow)

(Re)Covering the Declaration of Arbroath: International Perspectives on a National Claim of Right

Abstract: In this chapter we examine fifty news items relating to the Declaration of Arbroath published between 1996 and 2019 in thirteen languages. The SNP’s 2013 white paper proved to be a turning point, with Alex Salmond’s visit to Arbroath on 18 August 2014 being the key moment as far as media interest in the Declaration is concerned. We examine the philosophical and political discourses which emerged in the UK and elsewhere, as well as a strong presence of discourses of origin in the United States.

Keywords: History; Arbroath; media; news; Claim of Right; internationalism; SNP; Alex Salmond; politics; philosophy; discourses; Brexit


In this chapter we look at how the ancient Declaration of Arbroath has been both covered and to some extent recovered in various contemporary news media outlets. To do this we searched for print and on-line publications in Catalan, Danish, Dutch (in the Netherlands and Flanders), English (in the UK, the USA, Ireland, and Australia), Finnish, French (in France, Wallonia and French-speaking Switzerland), German (in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland), Greek, Icelandic, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish (as spoken both in Sweden and Finland, where there are some 270,000 native Swedish speakers), and Russian, though no publications were found in Finnish, Greek or Russian. Although the 2014 Scottish independence referendum had attracted intense international attention (Blain/Hutchison/Hassan 2016)...

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