Scotland, Atlantic Slavery and the Scottish National Party: from colonised to coloniser in the political imagination

Mullen, S. and Gibbs, E. (2023) Scotland, Atlantic Slavery and the Scottish National Party: from colonised to coloniser in the political imagination. Nations and Nationalism, (doi: 10.1111/nana.12925) (Early Online Publication)

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Over the last three decades, a major shift has taken place in Scottish nationalist understandings of Scotland's colonial past. During the second half of the twentieth century, independence supporters viewed Scotland's relationship with England in colonial terms. Since the Scottish Parliament was established in 1999, nationalists have increasingly recognised Scots' role in Atlantic slavery. This paper explores this change within the Scottish National Party (SNP) using archival sources, published material and Scottish Parliamentary records. It demonstrates that a maturing historiography has drawn attention to Scotland's slavery past. History has become politically relevant in transatlantic deliberations over racial injustice, which have grown in intensity since the international Black Lives Matter protests in 2020. SNP ministers and parliamentarians have responded to this context by incorporating addressing Scotland's role in Atlantic slavery within a case for independence that is styled as progressive and contrasts with the more recalcitrant attitudes, which predominate at UK level.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Early Online Publication
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gibbs, Dr Ewan and Mullen, Dr Stephen
Authors: Mullen, S., and Gibbs, E.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > History
College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Economic and Social History
Journal Name:Nations and Nationalism
ISSN (Online):1469-8129
Published Online:04 January 2023
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2023 The Authors
First Published:First published in Nations and Nationalism 2023
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
190342Glasgow - ESRC Standard Research Transition Standard Quota DTGMary Beth KneafseyEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/I902414/1Research and Innovation Services