With the Scottish independence referendum approaching on 18th September, this blog post details the material you can find on the subject at Nuffield College Library.
The library holds some textbooks on the 2014 referendum. Iain McLean, Official Fellow in politics at Nuffield College, co-authored the 2013 publication Scotland’s choices: the referendum and what happens afterwards, which provides an up-to-date account of the effect that the referendum will have. The book can be found at shelf mark JN 1228.M. Browsing around this shelf mark will find you other material on the subject area.
The 2014 Scottish referendum isn’t the first bid for independence. The library’s Political Party collection holds Scottish National Party (SNP) material from the 1979 and 1997 devolution referendum, including the SNP manifesto from 1992 Independence in Europe: make it happen now! The manifesto of the Scottish National Party at shelf mark PP SNP 1.
The Political Party collection also has Scottish Liberal Party material on a ‘self-governed’ Scotland from the 1940s through to the 1970s. The value of oil in the North Sea is not a new point for discussion in terms of Scottish independence. Within the Scottish Liberal Party material is the item Oil: the key to Scotland’s future (shelf mark PP Lib 24), which shows the importance of oil in the history of Scotland’s independence.
The Conservative Party have been opposed to devolution but this was not always the case. Former Prime Minister Edward Heath made the Declaration of Perth in 1968, which committed the party to some form of Scottish Devolution. The library has some material
on this area in the Conservative Party collection including the 1969 publication Make life better in Scotland (shelf mark PP Cons 2) with a forward by Edward Heath, detailing how to improve the economy, housing, and education in Scotland.
Exploring the library’s textbook collection and Political Party material will provide you with a history of Scotland’s aim for independence.
There is also plenty of official publications material on the current Scottish bid for freedom, both from UK and Scottish governments as well as from some independent observers. Most of this is shelved at the Library Extension under ‘X Government 8:0’. It includes the publications produced as a result of the UK government’s ‘Scottish analysis’ series, which was a programme of analysis on Scotland’s place in the UK and how it contributes to and benefits from being part of the UK, and, of course, ‘Scotland’s future : your guide to an independent Scotland’ by the Scottish Government. There are also documents from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, ‘Fiscal sustainability of an independent Scotland’ and ‘Public spending in Scotland : current patterns and future issues’. For an overview of the official publications, visit the Official Publications website and click on Documents published regarding the referendum on Scottish Independence.
There have also been plenty of blogs, research programmes and commentary on the referendum. Some of the more popular ones include:
The Conversation: Scotland Decides where academics from various universities write articles analysing the pros and cons of independence.
Elections in the news: a blog from the LSE which collates all the important websites, articles, books, campaigns and blogs relating to the referendum debate and progress.
Institute for Government: Governing after the referendum a research project into intergovernmental relations in the UK, and governance challenges that Whitehall and the devolved administrations will face after the Scottish independence referendum of 18 September 2014 – whatever the result – and as the process of devolution continues across the UK.
The Future of the UK and Scotland, based at the University of Edinburgh and aiming to bring the best of UK social science to the debate about Scotland’s constitutional future and its implications for the rest of the UK, along with the Scottish Centre on Constitutional Change, run in alliance with the Economic and Social Research Council providing academic research and analysis to help inform the referendum debate, and analyse the constitutional options after the referendum.