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Scotland 2014 and Beyond – Coming of Age and Loss of Innocence?


Klaus Peter Müller

This book examines Scotland from a great variety of international and disciplinary perspectives, offering viewpoints from ordinary citizens as well as experts in culture, history, literature, sociology, politics, the law, and the media. The texts investigate the mental processes, dispositions, and activities that have been involved in past and present discussions about Scottish independence, freedom, equality, justice, and the creation of a fair society. Such discussions have been shaped by specific values, ideologies, class or personal interests and objectives as well as by specific ways of telling their stories. These are analysed together with the European, global, and democratic dimensions of Scotland, in order to find answers to the question how coming of age might be achieved today.
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Existential and Utilitarian Nationalism in Scotland: Peter Jones (Edinburgh)


The article argues that existential Scottish nationalism – belief that Scotland is a nation so it should be sovereign - has minority support amongst voters and backing for existential British nationalism is greater. It contends that the referendum outcome does not depend on the relative weights of these opposing beliefs, but on whether Scots can be persuaded by utilitarian nationalism – that independence is an instrument for achieving certain aims.

Understanding the nature of Scottish nationalism is critical to understanding how the debate around the referendum on independence due in September 2014 will play out and what the impact of arguments put forward by the opposing ‘Yes’ and ‘Better Together’ (meaning ‘No’) campaigns will be on the Scottish electorate.

An editorial in the November 2012 Scottish Studies Centre Newsletter believed that one Scottish journalist, Ian Bell of The Herald, had got to the heart of the matter, quoting him as saying: “The point at issue, the real meaning of the 2014 question, whatever the words, is independence of mind. For or against? The rest is pernicious chatter.” (Bell 2012). The editorial praised this as “wonderfully” expressing what the referendum was about (Drescher et al. 2012).

This article, however, will argue that Bell’s sentiment merely expresses one strand of nationalist ideology. It will also contend that this strand will certainly not determine the outcome of the referendum. Many Scots, indeed, would regard Bell’s comment as offensive, implying that without being surrounded by the apparatus of a sovereign...

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