A Social Democratic Future? Political and Institutional Hurdles in Scotland

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The Nordic model has long been admired in Scotland, and has featured prominently in aspects of the Scottish independence referendum debate. This article explores the difficulties in instituting a similar system here, identifying two significant barriers: the institutional setting (the powers available to Scottish politicians) and the partisan nature of competition between the two parties that might be able to deliver upon such a commitment. It concludes that the prospects of moving towards a Nordic-style social investment model are slight, given the political, institutional and attitudinal barriers in place.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-256
Number of pages8
JournalPolitical Quarterly
Issue number2
Early online date22 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2015


  • Nordic model
  • social democracy
  • Scottish referendum

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