Abstract and Keywords
Modern perspectives on Scotland see it neither as an undifferentiated part of a unitary nation state, nor as a radically distinct or ‘ethnic’ community. Rather it is a component nation within a union, which itself changes over time. Since the late twentieth century, Scotland has become more important as a political community and at the end of the century it gained an autonomous Parliament. It is not a homogeneous unit but a space in which political contestation takes place. Even as it increasingly resembles the rest of the UK in its economic and social structures and values, it is politically differentiated. Devolution in 1999 started an institutional dynamic whose effects are still being worked out. Scotland now has a distinct party system. Its constitutional future is unresolved after the independence referendum of 2014 and the European referendum of 2016, in which Scotland voted to remain in the European Union whilst England and Wales voted to leave.
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