Nicola McEwen

Co-Director, Centre on Constitutional Change
University of Edinburgh
Professor of Territorial Politics


Nicola is Co-Director of the CCC. She leads the CCC's research on devolution and inter-institutional relations as a Fellow on our ongoing major ESRC-funded project, Between Two Unions: The Constitutional Future of the Islands after Brexit. She oversees the Centre's extensive programme of knowledge exchange, ensuring that academic research and expertise informs decisions and understanding of constitutional change.

Nicola is also a Senior Fellow within the UK in a Changing Europe, an initiative supported by the ESRC to examine the UK's relationship with the EU and to inform the Brexit process. She leads its research on devolution and the impact of Brexit on the future of the UK. Her new project, entitled A Family of Nations? Brexit, Devolution and the Union, explores intergovernmental relations in UK-EU negotiations, future trade negotiations, the development of the UK domestic market, and the effects of Brexit on the politics of independence. In addition, she is part of a project team exploring the potential effects of Brexit for the multi-level governance of energy, supported by the UK Energy Research Centre.

Nicola was previously Principal Investigator of one of the UK in a Changing Europe's prestigious Brexit Priority Grants, which examined the Repatriation of Competences and the Implications for Devolution. Other recent research projects include an ESRC Senior Scotland Fellowship exploring the implications of Scottish independence for cross-border relations. She is a Fellow of the Constitution Unit at University College London. 

Nicola has published widely in the field of territorial politics, nationalism, devolution, and multi-level parties and elections. She is actively involved in informing debate within the wider policy and political community. She frequently provides expert media commentary and advice to parliamentarians and governments, regularly takes part in public and stakeholder events, and offers tailored briefings and consultancy upon request.

Recent academic publications can be found at:



Posts by this author

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The Internal Market Bill: implications for devolution

Analysis from Nicola McEwen on the Internal Market Bill, exploring the suggested recentralisation of power and the implications for the Sewel convention and intergovernmental relations. 

Proposals for a UK internal market law: a sledgehammer to crack a nut?

CCC Co-Director, Nicola McEwen discusses the proposals set out in the UK Government's recent white paper on the Internal Market, and explains how these could have a profound impact on devolution in the UK.

How can relations between the UK's governments be made more effective?

After Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic, how can intergovernmental relations in the UK be more effective? Nicola McEwen, Michael Kenny, Jack Sheldon and Coree Brown Swan discuss.

Brexit negotiations: the devolution dimension

Covid-19 has demonstrated that the each part of the UK is governed different, however, CCC Co-Director Nicola McEwen argues that Brexit negotiations provide a stark contrast as the priorities of the four territories have been overshadowed by the UK government's monopoly of the negotiation process.
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Devolution and Alignment with EU Laws

As part of Scottish Centre on European Relations report 'An Independent Scotland in the EU: Issues for Accession', Nicola McEwen, University of Edinburgh, explains the challenges the Scottish government will face 'keeping pace' with EU regulatory standards in devolved policy areas, and how this is likely to impact the likelihood of an independent Scotland rejoining the EU after independence.

What next for Scotland post Brexit?

Brexit has created new strains in the UK’s territorial constitution argues Nicola McEwen, University of Edinburgh, as she asks what next for Scotland now we've left the European Union?