A chat’s a chat for a’ that: the SNP’s National Conversation as the Constitutional Policy of a Nationalist Party in Government

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Abstract

This paper will examine the SNP Scottish Government’s National Conversation as a policy process used by the Scottish National Party to promote their constitutional goals throughgovernment office. It will evaluate the process in the context of policy analysis, establishing A National Conversation as a policy of government framed in importance in the same mouldas health and education policy, but at the same time a distinctly different entity. The paper will argue that A National Conversation has provided the SNP Government with a distinctopportunity to engage with the public through a national consultation on their constitutionalgoals – a consultation bigger than any previous government had undertaken – but without anysignificant outcome or output. It concludes that A National Conversation has allowed theSNP government an opportunity to engage in discussions about constitutional change (themain policy objective of the party) and play an agenda-setting role in this field; thatevaluating A National Conversation as a policy output in its own right and not simply as a process is helpful in understanding its role in the SNP’s strategy of governance; but that theoutcome of A National Conversation has not succeeded in increasing support for the SNP’s constitutional goal of independence.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010
EventEuropean Consortium for Political Research: Federalism, Regionalism and Public Policy Conference - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 20 Aug 201028 Aug 2010

Conference

ConferenceEuropean Consortium for Political Research: Federalism, Regionalism and Public Policy Conference
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityEdinburgh
Period20/08/1028/08/10

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