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Sociology. Political Science. International Relations
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Article


Year
2017
Issue
3
Pages
344-351
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Section СОЦИОЛОГИЯ. ПОЛИТОЛОГИЯ. МЕЖДУНАРОДНЫЕ ОТНОШЕНИЯ
Title THE IRRESISTIBLE RISE OF POLITIAL NATIONALISM IN SCOTLAND AND ITS ORIGINS
Author(-s) Perri Paolo
Abstract The article will examine the rise of the Scottish National Party (SNP) and, consequently, the history of Scottish nationalism in the 20th century. Established in 1934 the SNP has, in the last 50 years, moved from being a marginal conservative party to a social-democratic force which is both respected and feared, and which has defined and reshaped Scottish politics, brought the Scottish dimension at the centre stage and forced other political parties to respond in their terms. At the end of the Sixties, the party still had a rather vague political program which involved an independent Scotland within the British Commonwealth and, on the economic side, an “interclassist third way” between capitalism and socialism. During the 70’s, the decline of heavy and shipbuilding industries and the closure of coal mines contributed to change social relations and political affiliations in Scotland. In this period, the SNP’s politics was self-proclaimed as centre-left. With the entry into the party of an increasing number of workers (skilled and unskilled), students and members of the urban middle classes, the ideological orientation of Scottish nationalism underwent a left turn, while the party’s stand on the issue of independence remained rather ambiguous. Certainly, both socialism and counter-culture had a limited impact in Scotland but, for a new generation of political activists, the Conservative and Labour parties had little to offer in the way of dynamism. The SNP recruited a new generation of activists (for instance, the so-called 79 Group) who were more in tune with some aspects of the counter-culture, while nationalism gained a new intellectual respectability with the leftist notion of anti-colonialism. In the 80’s the Scottish nationalism began to become more comfortable asserting a full social democratic outlook. The party’s identity became genuinely anchored to the centre-left, and the SNP replaced the Labor Party - more moderate and looking for a new center-oriented political location - in representing the interests of workers in Scotland. The paper aims to demonstrate the importance of economic factors in shaping political nationalism which, in the Scottish case, has seen the SNP increase the electoral support, undermine the territorial unity of the UK and become a true social democratic party able to challenge leftist political parties on ideological grounds.
Keywords Scottish Nationalism, Scottish National Party, Nationalism and Socialism, Scotland, Nationalism and Labor, Centre-Periphery cleavage
UDC 329.17
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