Nicola McEwen

Nicola McEwen's picture
University of Edinburgh
Phone Number: 
+44 (0)131 651 1831
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Nicola McEwen is a Professor of Politics at the University of Edinburgh, and Associate Director of the ESRC Centre on Constitutional Change (CCC). She was appointed ESRC Senior Scotland Fellow, exploring Scotland’s external and intergovernmental relations in the event of independence. This external dimension to the future of Scotland remains the focus of her research within the SCCC. A political scientist at Edinburgh since 2001, Nicola specialises in research on devolution, territorial politics and multi-level governance. Within these broad fields, her research has examined: nationalism and territorial politics; intergovernmental relations; public policy (especially social welfare and energy policy); parties and elections; and voting behaviour.

Her focus is primarily on Scotland, but often also addresses developments in similar ‘sub-state nations’, including Quebec, Catalonia, the Basque Country and Flanders. Nicola is also Associate Director of Research at Edinburgh’s School of Social and Political Science, and Managing Editor of the journal, Regional and Federal Studies, the leading European journal in the field of territorial politics.

She is a frequent contributor to radio, television and print news outlets, offering commentary on elections, government and policy, and the Scottish constitutional debate. Recent publications can be found at:

Project Job Role: 
Co-Director, Centre on Constitutional Change


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Member for
5 years 2 months

Posts by this author:

Opinion polls have consistently suggested strong support for the Scottish parliament to have powers over social security. Over the next 6 weeks, the Smith commission now has an opportunity to consider, as part of its broader process, whether agreement can be reached over welfare devolution. The UK p... Read more
Post type: Blog entry
Nicola McEwen discusses that when the UK government gave its consent to the Scottish government’s plan to hold a referendum, it was on the basis that the referendum would be ‘legal, fair and decisive’. This article is taken from the latest issue of Discover Society. The Edinburgh agreement – the int... Read more
Post type: Blog entry
Scottish constitutional preferences have long been split (at least) three ways - between those who supported independence, those who supported the constitutional status quo, and those who wanted a stronger Scottish Parliament within the UK – let’s call them the devo-maxers. The promise this week of... Read more
Post type: Blog entry
As commentators pore over last night’s leaders’ debate, Professor Nicola McEwen reflects on the unprecedented level of citizen engagement in communities across Scotland. As households around the country were tuned into the second leaders’ debate last night, Professor Michael Keating, Professor David... Read more
Post type: Blog entry
UK-Irish interdependence today can provide valuable insights for Scottish-UK border relations, as some of the interdependences and the management of these could also apply to Scottish-UK border relations in the event of independence.  EU regulations on mobility of persons, goods and services as well... Read more
Post type: Publication
Professor Nicola McEwen published a research briefing today on A nordic model for Scotland? Scottish - UK relations after independence. The briefing notes that the existing forums for intergovernmental relations would be insufficient to manage Scottish-rUK relations in an independence scenario. For... Read more
Post type: News Article
Nicola McEwen Key Points Existing UK intergovernmental forums would be insufficient to manage Scottish-rUK intergovernmental relations if the Scottish government’s independence vision was realised. The Nordic example illustrates that intergovernmental cooperation, formal and informal, between neigh... Read more
Post type: Publication
As part of our state of the debate series, Nicola McEwen discusses the position of welfare policy in the debate. The first week of the final 6 week phase of the referendum campaign was a difficult one for the Yes campaign. The currency issue dominated the news agenda in the aftermath of the televise... Read more
Post type: Blog entry
In a research briefing paper published today, Professor Nicola McEwen evaluates the prospects for energy market integration and a formal energy partnership between the Scottish and UK governments after independence. She concludes that cooperation is inevitable and wholesale market integration likely... Read more
Post type: Blog entry
Key points: An integrated GB wholesale electricity market in the event of independence is likely. EU law provides the mechanism for joint support across member states, and the joint Swedish-Norwegian scheme provides a precedent for two independent countries sharing a scheme to incentivise renewable... Read more
Post type: Publication


Latest blogs

  • 19th October 2018

    Proposed revisions to the Basque Statute of Autonomy have revealed underlying tensions but the fault lines are not where an outside observer might assume they would be. They are fundamental and political and, explains Michael Keating, unlikely to be resolved by technocratic debate.

  • 16th October 2018

    Bavaria’s long-dominant party, the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU), has reached its worst election result in 60 years. As well as causing a headache for Angela Merkel, argues Patrick Utz, this political earthquake reveals Bavaria’s predicament between regionalism and populism,.

  • 15th October 2018

    As the buildup to the EU Council meeting reaches fever pitch, Richard Parry explains that deals at dawn may work in Brussels but they don't always play to the home crowd.

  • 13th October 2018

    Theresa May’s efforts to keep her DUP allies onside may, suggests Prof Nicola McEwen, end up easing Nicola Sturgeon’s path to independence following any subsequent referendum on the subject.

  • 12th October 2018

    The Commission on Justice in Wales, chaired by Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, will further clarify the legal and political identity of Wales within the UK constitution. Doing so, explains Prof Dan Wincott, will also bring clarity to the enduring significance of other territorial legal jurisdictions.

Read More Posts