Citation Cairney P, Russell S & St Denny E (2016) The ‘Scottish approach’ to policy and policymaking: what issues are territorial and what are universal?, Policy and Politics, 44 (3), pp. 333-350.
The ‘Scottish approach' refers to its distinctive way to make and implement policy. Its reputation suggests that it is relatively comfortable with local discretion and variations in policy outcomes. Yet, policymakers are subject to ‘universal' processes - limited knowledge, attention and coordinative capacity, and high levels of ambiguity, discretion and complexity in policy processes - which already undermine central control and produce variation. If policy is a mix of deliberate and unintended outcomes, a focus on policy styles may exaggerate a government's ability to do things differently. We demonstrate these issues in two ‘cross cutting' policies: ‘prevention' and ‘transition'. complexity ; devolution; prevention; transition