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Scottish devolution and the Scottish diaspora

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This paper describes the relationship that exists between Scotland and its diaspora and the ways in which this has changed since the advent of devolution. Based on interviews carried out primarily in the United States, it explores how members of the diaspora have adopted a less historical and sentimental approach to their ‘homeland’ and are increasingly knowledgeable about Scottish constitutional change. In part this has resulted from the growth of the internet and the ease of finding out about developments in Scotland itself, as well as the greater ease and affordability of travel back to Scotland. But, most importantly, the existence of a government in Edinburgh has allowed Scottish politicians and organizations to engage with the diaspora in events such as Tartan Day, in a way in which London-based politicians were never likely to do. Tourist developments promoted by the Scottish government, such as the Year of Homecoming in 2009, have also been highly significant. Thus links between Scotland and its diaspora have been changed and strengthened in various ways.

Keywords: Scottish diaspora; devolution; homecoming; identity

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Social Sciences,University of the West of Scotland, UK

Publication date: 2012-03-01

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