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One year ago, Scottish voters were called to decide whether the nation should become an independent country or stay in the UK – essentially the question on the ballot paper was about Scotland’s future constitutional status. The referendum debate itself though, like most current debates about the future of Scotland and the UK, was and is closely connected to a range of policy issues.
 
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The Scottish Government just launched a National Conversation on how the new powers contained in the Scotland Bill 2015 should be used. Paul Cairney suggests that there are two ways of looking at the exercise. 
 
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Achieving economic growth, social justice and tackling inequality: Kirstein Rummery and her team have been researching what Scotland can learn about childcare and long-term care and its effect on gender equality from international evidence?
 
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Constitutional discussions frequently obscure wider policy debates in Scotland, says Paul Cairney. His current research demonstrates that, as well as being obscured by constitutional clashes, issues of inequality are frequently treated with flashy quick fixes at the expense of long-term results. 
 
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Professor Kirstein Rummery discusses the Fairer, Caring Nations research project, which is investigating the impact of childcare and long-term care policies on gender equality. The project is a comparative study focussing on both devolved and state-level nations. 

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Holyrood and Westminster could diverge on immigration

As reported in today's Herald (4 June 15), Scotland could take a different approach to the rights and roles of migrants than the rest of the UK.

Nick Bibby, Communications Officer, Centre on Constitutional Change, discusses the hot topics that came out of the latest PSA conference.

The Political Studies Association (PSA) annual conference, which drew together political scholars from across the world, was held in Sheffield at the start of the April. CCC fellows were heavily involved, presenting papers on subjects ranging from the political implications of devolution, to the role of gender in the referendum campaign, to the changing nature of public attitudes to politics.

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  • 22nd January 2019

    The UK is increasingly polarised by Brexit identities and they seem to have become stronger than party identities, a new academic report finds. Only one in 16 people did not have a Brexit identity, while more than one in five said they had no party identity. Sir John Curtice’s latest analysis of public opinion on a further referendum finds there has been no decisive shift in favour of another referendum. The report, Brexit and public opinion 2019, by The UK in a Changing Europe, provides an authoritative, comprehensive and up-to-date guide to public opinion on each of the key issues around Brexit. CCC Fellow, Dr Coree Brown Swan contributed a chapter on "the SNP, Brexit and the politics of independence"

  • 22nd January 2019

    In the papers accompanying the draft Environment (Principles and Governance) Bill published at the end of 2018, the UK Government says that it is “exploring opportunities to co-design the final proposals with the devolved administrations.” There are clear benefits in having strong co-operation and collaboration across the UK in the oversight of our environmental law and performance. Yet the challenge of finding a way forward in terms of working together is substantial since each part of the UK is in a different position at present. Given where things stand today, it may be better to accept that a good resolution is not possible immediately and to revisit the issue at a later stage - so long as there is a strong commitment to return and not allow interim arrangements to become fixed. Colin Reid, Professor of Environmental Law at the University of Dundee examines the issues.

  • 17th January 2019

    Richard Parry assesses a memorable day in UK parliamentary history as the Commons splits 432-202 on 15 January 2019 against the Government's recommended Brexit route. It was the most dramatic night at Westminster since the Labour government’s defeat on a confidence motion in 1979.

  • 17th January 2019

    What is the Irish government’s Brexit wish-list? The suggestion that Irish unity, as opposed to safeguarding political and economic stability, is the foremost concern of the Irish government is to misunderstand and misrepresent the motivations of this key Brexit stakeholder, writes Mary C. Murphy (University College Cork).

  • 17th January 2019

    Brexit is in trouble but not because of the Irish backstop, argues the CCC's Michael Keating.

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