Using Devolution to Set the Agenda? Venue Shift and the Smoking Ban in Scotland

Paul Alexander Cairney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the changing agendas on smoking-related issues in Scotland. It charts the methods that groups, governments and MSPs use to frame and pursue or suppress discussion of the prohibition of smoking in public places. The article presents two narratives—one which stresses ‘new politics’ and the ability of groups to influence policy through Scottish Parliamentary procedures, and another which stresses Scottish Executive ‘business as usual’ and presents smoking legislation as a logical progression from early ministerial commitments. A combination of narratives suggests that tobacco legislation in Scotland was by no means part of an inevitable international trend towards prohibition and this article traces the precise conditions or ‘policy windows’ in which decisions take place. The discussion highlights the often unsettled nature of the devolution settlement and the ability of Scottish issues to influence UK agendas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-89
Number of pages17
JournalBritish Journal of Politics and International Relations
Issue number1
Early online date4 Jan 2007
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007


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