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date: 22 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

In the late twentieth century, Scotland's economy underwent restructuring no less radical than in the Industrial Revolution. Whereas almost one in three Scots was in industrial employment in 1979, by 1986, fewer than one in four were. On the other hand, Christopher Harvie's characterization of the Scottish experience under Margaret Thatcher's government of 1979–1990 as ‘instant post-industrialization’ is open to two modifications. First, economists were discussing what they already called de-industrialization before she became prime minister, and second, the decline in industrial employment continued long after she resigned. This article examines the nature of de-industrialization and how it fits into long-term trends in Scottish history. It also considers how Scottish industries and services have fared since 1965, and how economic restructuring affected the different regions of Scotland.

Keywords: Scotland, economy, employment, de-industrialization, Scottish history, industries, services, economic restructuring

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