Scottish Referendum and Future of British State

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2015-3-64-75

S. Peregudov, Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation (
I. Semenenko, Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation (

Abstract. The Scottish referendum occupies a special place in the row of events determining the very essence of the current political transformations in the United Kingdom, and is bound to influence both the future of the British statehood and the long-term development of British political institutions. The referendum campaign and the results of the Scottish vote have further aggravated the imbalances between the “home nations” in the UK. The promises given by the British political class to Scottish voters will have long-time consequences for the ardently debated constitutional reform. Relations between the political institutions of the UK and Scotland are becoming a decisive driver of governance decentralization and regionalization as well as of the general trend towards federalism. The changes in the Scottish political landscape and the voters’ behaviour can be regards as a message for other states with separatist risks. The politicization of Scottish identity, the affirmation of “home nations” identities and the growing importance of “the English question” for public opinion and political debates over the prospects of constitutional reform point to the changing nature of the nationalism in a society with strong civil institutions and a developed welfare state. “New” nationalism emerges as a hybrid phenomenon with political, economic and sociocultural connotations reflecting the expansion of the political sphere, and a strong civic identity – as a source of social consolidation of a modern nation. 

Keywords: statehood, political institutions, referendum, devolution, “home nations”, “the West Lothian question”, “the English question”, political (civic) identity, civic nationalism, “stateless nations”, Scotland, England, United Kingdom

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For citation:
Peregudov S., Semenenko I. Scottish Referendum and Future of British State. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2015, no. 3, pp. 64-75.

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