Theme: Parties & Elections | Content Type: Book review

Review: Politics and the People: Scotland 1945–79, by Malcolm Petrie

Ben Jackson


Scottish Government

| 0 mins read

Scottish politics is currently dominated by arguments about self-determination and the possibility of a second referendum on independence. From a historical perspective, though, it is striking that until very late in the twentieth century such constitutional arguments lacked political salience. Before the 1970s there was no significant electoral constituency for Scottish nationalism; British constitutional norms regarded the referendum as alien to Britain's historic parliamentary tradition and there was no widespread agreement, even within Scotland, that the Scottish electorate possessed a right to democratic self-determination separable from its contribution to a collective, UK-wide parliamentary mandate. Malcolm Petrie has written an outstanding book that offers a persuasive account of how each of these assumptions was overturned between 1945 and 1979.

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  • Ben Jackson

    Ben Jackson

    Ben Jackson is Co-Editor of the Political Quarterly journal. He is also Professor of Modern History at Oxford University.

    Articles by Ben Jackson