The Scottish Political System

Primary Author or Creator:
James G Kellas
Cambridge Univerity Press
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"The enduring [Kellas] thesis is the notion of a Scottish political system.  ...The orthodox view had been that the UK was unitary and uniform apart from the odd detail and embellishment." Bella Caledonia.

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First published in 1973, Professor Kellas's account of Scottish government and politics has long been recognised as the standard textbook in the field. Its scope includes a definition of the Scottish political system, and critical descriptions of Scottish administration (central and local), parliamentary activity, parties, electoral behaviour, and pressure groups. Scottish nationalism is given a wider interpretation than usual, covering not only the support for the Scottish National Party, but the manifestations of national feeling in Scottish life generally. The General Election of 1987 provided further evidence of the distinctive character of politics in Scotland, with the Conservative Party reduced to ten MPs, barely sufficient to fill the existing Scottish ministerial posts. In a new postscript Professor Kellas looks at the principal political developments of the period since 1983, and examines the political and constitutional implications of the current imbalance of forces as between Westminster and Scotland.