The Scottish National Party: Transition to Power

Hardcover | January 1, 2012

byJames Mitchell, Lynn Bennie, Rob Johns

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The Scottish National Party is a study of the SNP immediately after it came to power in May 2007. It is based on a survey of the entire membership and elite interviews with over 80 senior party figures. Discussion is located within the appropriate literatures and comparisons drawn with otherBritish parties. The image of the SNP as a youthful party, with a decentralised social-movement-type organisation is challenged. The party is much older and much more male than had previously been thought and appears more like other conventional parties than its past image suggested. Its increasedmembership in recent years holds few clues as to how to re-engage youth, as even these recent joiners are predominantly older people, often former members returning to the party. The study questions the value of the civic-ethnic dichotomy in understanding nationalism. SNP members, it argues, acknowledge different ways - civic and ethnic, with the emphasis very much on civic - of defining who is Scottish. The picture emerges of a coherent left-of-centre party that accepts thepragmatism of its leadership. While independence remains the key motivation for joining and being active, a sizeable minority see the party as a means of furthering Scottish interests. The idea of independence is examined in elite interviews and found, again, to be understood more pragmaticallythan many commentators have suggested.

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The Scottish National Party is a study of the SNP immediately after it came to power in May 2007. It is based on a survey of the entire membership and elite interviews with over 80 senior party figures. Discussion is located within the appropriate literatures and comparisons drawn with otherBritish parties. The image of the SNP as a yo...

Professor James Mitchell has written extensively on Scottish politics. His research interests cover territorial politics, the politics of nationalism, and political identities. He is Professor of Politics at the University of Strathclyde. Dr. Lynn Bennie's research interests cover the areas of elections and political parties, environme...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.1 inPublished:January 1, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199580006

ISBN - 13:9780199580002

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. From Blackmail to Governing Potential3. From Amateur Activist to Electoral Professional Party4. Who are the SNP Members?5. Membership Motivations6. Activism in the SNP7. National Identity and Nationalism8. Independence, Policies and Strategies9. ConclusionBibliographyIndex