Devolution, social democratic visions and policy reality in Scotland

Scott, G. and Wright, S. (2012) Devolution, social democratic visions and policy reality in Scotland. Critical Social Policy, 32(3), pp. 440-453. (doi: 10.1177/0261018312444420)

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The Scottish National Party’s election win in 2011 produced the first overall majority for any party since the Scottish Parliament’s inception in 1999, despite the proportional representation system that was supposed to prevent single party governments. This historic election has been followed by much discussion of how much further the powers of the Scottish Parliament could be extended and whether devolution would allow Scotland to have a superior welfare settlement. In this context policy divergence has been the major focus of the developing devolution debate but discussions about greater powers or even independence for the Parliament have increased significantly. They are often presented as a means to achieve a ‘better’ or more ‘fair’ society. This article argues that shortcomings in the steps towards fairness achieved under the current arrangements of devolution highlight the need for a far-reaching and innovative approach to social justice to be carried out alongside any further discussions of independence. Such an approach cannot be taken for granted.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Wright, Professor Sharon
Authors: Scott, G., and Wright, S.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences
Journal Name:Critical Social Policy
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1461-703X

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