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Series: Pocket Politics
Author: Matt Qvortrup

This book is a series of 'remarks' and 'sketches', which together form a mosaic to show how the use of the referendum followed a strict, almost Hegelian pattern of the 'unfolding of freedom' throughout the ages. It outlines how referendums have been used in Britain and abroad, presenting some of the arguments for and against this institution. The book commences with an outline of the world history of the referendum from the French Revolution to the present day, and then discusses the British experience up to 2010. The book examines the referendum on European Economic Community membership in 1975, considering the alternative vote referendum in 2011 and the referendum on Scottish independence in 2014. Next, the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum in 2016, especially the campaign leading up to it, is discussed. After the analysis of the Brexit referendum, the book touches on the Maltese referendum on divorce in 2011. It summarises some of the trends and tendencies in the use of the referendum internationally, highlighting that Britain is not a unique case in holding referendums. The book shows that, notwithstanding the general assumptions about referendums, these are not usually associated with demagogues and populism, but the referendum has tended to be used as a constitutional safeguard. However, in Britain, a country without a formal written constitution, these safeguards were not in place. For the referendum to work, for this institution to be a constitutional safeguard, it must be a people's shield and not the government's sword.

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Republican social democracy and Scottish nationalism
Ben Jackson

7 A union of hearts? Republican social democracy and Scottish nationalism1 Ben Jackson The movement of opinion in favour of Scottish nationalism registered by the 2014 Scottish independence referendum catapulted the case for a separate Scottish state to the heart of British political debate. Yet the resulting argument over Scottish independence is often an unsatisfactory one, hobbled by the readiness of both sides to impute bad faith to the other and simply to ignore the stronger points put forward by the opposing camp. For the defenders of the Anglo

in Making social democrats
Marina Dekavalla

early years failed to capitalise on the financial anxiety of the electorate during the Great Depression because it proposed no convincing alternative strategy. When the Second World War started, the issue of Scottish independence completely fell off the agenda as Britain fought united against an external enemy. In the following decades, though, things changed:  Britain gradually lost its colonies; the manufacturing sector, which was a major source of prosperity for Scotland, started to decline internationally and was replaced by a growing services sector; poverty and

in Framing referendum campaigns in the news
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Murray Stewart Leith and Duncan Sim

national borders. Any discussion of national identity must clearly recognise that the foundation myths of that national identity are often subject to personal preferences and whims, even while founded in history and factual events. While many may disagree on the actual resultant outcomes of the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, it has come to be perceived as the milestone for the establishment of Scottish independence in the fourteenth century. The importance of such myths becomes evident. Likewise, who and what constitutes a Scot in the modern era is clearly a matter for

in Scotland
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Joseph Webster

independence, can be best understood as offering a counter-politics to both the mainstream ‘Yes’ and ‘Better Together’ campaigns. Importantly, by referring to ‘counter-politics’ I do not mean to suggest that Orange perspectives on the referendum developed in reaction to these ‘mainstream’ positions, since the former predated the latter by a long number of years. By ‘counter-politics’, then, I mean to refer to where Orangeism locates what is at stake within the referendum. As I argue below, for ‘Better Together’, debate about the Scottish independence referendum was

in The religion of Orange politics
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Liam Stanley

capitalist crisis. Back then, the British state had successfully secured its favoured response. Four decades later, many expected a repeat. And yet as the upstart nationalists gained energy and momentum, a radical surprise seemed increasingly feasible. The UK's future could go either way. What happened next depends on the constitutional dilemma in question. In the referendum on Scottish independence in Autumn 2014, the electorate voted to stay in the union, to keep the status quo, by 55 to 45 per cent. However, in a second referendum around eighteen

in Britain alone
Hannah Jones, Yasmin Gunaratnam, Gargi Bhattacharyya, William Davies, Sukhwant Dhaliwal, Emma Jackson, and Roiyah Saltus

experienced and interpreted. Here local issues, such as histories of migration and resistance, and national contexts, such as debates about devolution and the 2014 Scottish Independence referendum, impact on reactions to anti-immigration campaigns. Whereas in Ealing and Hounslow (West London), for example, the Go Home van's appearance played into divisive discourses of respectability among established migrants and British citizens (discussed in

in Go home?
National identities, sovereignty and the body politic
Laura Clancy

On 20 September 2014, in the wake of the Scottish Independence Referendum, the pro-union, right-wing British broadsheet the Daily Telegraph 's front page was dominated by a photograph of Queen Elizabeth II in the grounds of her Balmoral Estate in the Scottish Highlands, under the headline ‘Queen's pledge to help reunite the Kingdom’ ( Figure 3.1 ). 1 The photograph, entitled Queen of Scots, Sovereign of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle and the Chief of Chiefs , was taken

in Running the Family Firm
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Matt Qvortrup

filled rather more pages on the 1975 vote. Thus this referendum looms large in Chapter 2 , though we also consider the alternative vote referendum in 2011 and the referendum on Scottish independence in 2014 . Chapter 3 pertains to the United Kingdom European Union (EU) membership referendum in 2016, especially the campaign leading up to it. As in the previous chapter, this vote is analysed empirically but with several excursuses into the political theory. After the analysis of the Brexit referendum, Chapter 4 reverts to the wider world and summarises some of

in Government by referendum
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A new Scotland in a changing Europe
Paolo Dardanelli

This last chapter turns its attention away from the past and into the future. It offers some reflections on Scotland’s place in the European Union in the post-devolution period and the likely influence that the European dimension will continue to have on the issue of Scottish independence. It argues that the European dimension will continue to be very important for Scotland but that some of the exaggerated expectations about devolution’s ability to provide a quantum leap in Scotland’s relations with the EU have been and are likely to

in Between two Unions