Debating Scotland: Issues of Independence and Union in the 2014 Referendum

Michael James Keating (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook


On 18 September 2014, Scotland held a referendum on the question: Should Scotland be an independent country? This is a most unusual event in modern democracies and engaged the political class, civil society and the general public to an unprecedented degree, leading to an 85 per cent turnout in the final vote. This was an occasion to debate not just the narrow constitutional issue but the future of the nation, including the economy, social welfare, defence and security and Scotland’s place in Europe and the world. The book comes from a team of researchers who observed the debates from close-up and engaged with both sides, with the media and with the public in analyzing the issues, while remaining neutral on the independence question. They show what were the main issues at stake, how they were presented and how they evolved over the course of the campaign. The book covers the way both independence and union were framed, the economic issues, the currency, welfare, defence and security, the European Union, and the way the example of small independent states was used. It concludes with an analysis of voter responses, based upon original survey research, which shows how perceptions of risk and uncertainty on the main issues played a key role in the outcome.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages226
ISBN (Print)9780198789819
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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