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Session Submission Type: Full Paper Panel
This panel examines the pressures upon the maintenance of the UK. Amid continuing demands for a second referendum on Scottish independence, calls for a border poll on whether Northern Ireland should remain part of the UK or unify with Ireland and the growth of the Yes Cymru Welsh independence movement, the session examines the extent to which fears of the dissolution of the UK are real or exaggerated.
Using new datasets from ongoing Economic and Social Research Council-funded projects, the panel assesses the degree of support for the Union with each of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales examining in particular a) the extent to which politics in each polity is defined by a unionist versus nationalist binary b) whether or not there is a discernible Brexit effect undermining fidelity to the UK and c) the impact of the rising institutional strength of the devolved governments and legislatures, exemplified by the variations in Covid regulations across the UK implemented by both pro- and anti-Union parties, in reconfiguring conceptions of Westminster’s relations with the nations of the Union. The panel assesses the modern purpose of the Union, explores whether current strains are likely to accentuate and considers what strategies of the containment of separatist tendencies are viable.
Nationalism and Utopianism in Scotland and the United States - Paul T. McCartney, Towson University
Vote Switching and the Constitution: Evidence from the Scottish Election Study - Ailsa Henderson, University of Edinburgh
From Brexit to Border Poll? Northern Ireland's Constitutional Future - Jonathan Tonge, University of Liverpool; Thomas Hennessey, Canterbury Christ Church University; Maire Braniff, Ulster University; Jim McAuley, University of Huddersfield; Sophie Whiting, University of Bath
Labour as the Party of Wales: Explaining 100 Years of Labour Dominance - Richard Wyn Jones, Wales Governance Centre