A struggle in the peripheries: a few remarks on devolution in the UK Cover Image

A struggle in the peripheries: a few remarks on devolution in the UK
A struggle in the peripheries: a few remarks on devolution in the UK

Author(s): Łukasz Sorokowski
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences, Social Sciences, Sociology, Studies in violence and power, Nationalism Studies
Published by: Instytut Slawistyki Polskiej Akademii Nauk
Keywords: devolution; power; politics; the United Kingdom; struggle; identity; cohesion

Summary/Abstract: The paper looks at the major issues underlying devolution in the United Kingdom, i.e. a process whereby the historically diverse areas and regions constituting the seemingly uniform state have been slowly striving for independence, along with the formation of local, regional and even national identities. Hinging on the idea of ‘multicultural citizenship’, the paper seeks to analyse the ongoing public discourse centered on the gradual transfer of centralized London-based power to local and regional bodies across the UK. This discourse forms the pivotal background of devolution, overtly pointing to the idea of the so-called ‘new opening’ of the entire British political scene, clearly promoting the notion of strengthening the position of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and English regions as increasingly autonomous geographical and cultural areas as part of a weakening monolith by the name of the United Kingdom. Resting almost entirely on historic tensions between British identity and Scottish identity, it is made clear that the Scottish public debate has basically neglected the issues of the assimilation of its cultural minori¬ties with the ‘post-devolution’ reality. The devolution discourse stems from the rancorous debates and polemics which have taken place throughout the three hundred years of the Scottish and English Union, covering several social and political contexts, including the growing demands voiced by the SNP. Indeed, it has a major impact on the formation of Scots’ national distinctiveness alongside Scotland’s gradual emergence as a separate part of the British Isles.

  • Issue Year: 2014
  • Issue No: 03
  • Page Range: 19-32
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: English