Nationalism and Unionism in Scotland (1945-1985)

By Peter Wilson

In 1913 a Liberal MP stood before the House of Commons and advocated a change in the political relationship between Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom. He was knowingly echoing another Liberal MP from nearly 20 years before, who had wished for Scottish Home Rule “while retaining intact the power and supremacy of the Imperial Parliament.”[1] In 1976 Malcolm Rifkind called for “a better deal for Scottish people within the United Kingdom.”[2] Nearly a century had passed, and the wish was for the same thing: a recognition of Scottish political autonomy within the existing framework of the United Kingdom. Yet between 1955 and 1985…

Can the Security Dilemma Explain Actual Conflicts?

By James A. Chisem

The concept of the security dilemma describes how it is possible, given the “existential uncertainty” which the condition of international anarchy produces amongst states, for violent conflict to arise between two or more actors even when neither has malign intentions towards the other.[1] Although the idea appears in text as far back as the fifth century BCE in the writings of the Greek intellectual Thucydides, the term only entered the academic lexicon after John Herz concretised it in his 1950 treatise ‘Idealist Internationalism and the Security Dilemma’.[2] In the decades since then…

The Two Rs

What was it that the late Douglas Adams said about writing?

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”

I think it’s fair to say that Adams was being a tad facetious when he committed those words to paper, or at the very least, mischievous. If, as the ancient proverb suggests, only Nixon can go to China, then it also stands to reason that…