News and opinion

COVID19

Coronavirus and the Constitution

Is devolution problematic to crisis management? In this guest blog, Jim Gallagher provides an overview of the UK and devolved governments' approach to COVID-19, and discusses how the pandemic is likely to impact upon devolution in the UK.
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Scotland, the last in line to relax lockdown

As the Scottish Government finally publishes a strategy for emerging from lockdown, it has been able to hold on to the maximum time and benefit from full restrictions. Richard Parry discusses how the tide has turned throughout the UK in favour of relaxations as governments try to control future events while being forced to justify their earlier decisions
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Leadership, learning and knowledge: lessons from COVID-19

Scottish politics is stuck in a constitutional rut in which issues are viewed through a narrow independence/Union prism. James Mitchell, University of Edinburgh argues that we have become obsessed with whether devolved policies are designed to undermine or sustain the union, perhaps we need to refocus on some of the basic policy-making questions and issues.
Boris Johnson

Johnson gives an opening to covid policy dealignment

As the devolved administrations show increasing confidence in charting their own course, Richard Parry reviews a crucial few days in the UK's response to the virus.
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Why have the UK's governments diverged on easing lockdown?

Jack Sheldon and Michael Kenny consider why Boris Johnson’s televised address on a phased approach to easing lockdown has sparked public disagreements with the devolved governments, and the implications these differences might have for future relations between the governments of the UK.  
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Contrasting responses to a common virus

Richard Parry discusses the varied responses to the pandemic between the devolved nations in the UK and beyond, and what this tells us about the relationship between the political system and expert advice.
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Why Stay Together? Unionism and State Nationalism in the UK and Spain

In a recent article for Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, Coree Brown Swan (University of Edinburgh) and Daniel Cetrà (University of Aberdeen) compare unionism and nationalism in the UK and Spain. In this blog they've given us a teaser of what you can expect.
Northern Ireland

Borders: Lessons from Ireland

Katy Hayward, Queen's University Belfast, discusses Brexit and the Irish border, and the lessons Scotland can learn from this. From a Scottish Centre on European Relations report 'An Independent Scotland in the EU: Issues for Accession'.
Divide

How the EU might become a divisive issue for Ireland's next government

Influenced by the long-term implications of Covid-19 and related economic crisis, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have made a previously unthinkable move, and agreed to form a coalition government, assuming they can gain support from one other party. Mary C. Murphy, University College Cork, evaluates the proposals they have put forward to smaller parties, asking whether the EU is likely to become a more contested issue for the next Irish government.