The New British Policy Style: From a British to a Scottish Political Tradition?



Cairney P (2011) The New British Policy Style: From a British to a Scottish Political Tradition?. Political Studies Review, 9 (2), pp. 208-220.

The new context of coalition government and the ‘Big Society' suggests that the UK government is moving towards a style of politics followed successfully in Scotland, extending a partnership approach from national to local forms of government. Yet the two arenas have never been as far apart as is commonly imagined. The majoritarian (UK) and consensus (Scottish) labels are misleading. British politics is not as exceptional as it is often made out to be, while Scottish politics retains many elements of its British counterpart. This article assesses the state of British politics in this light. It sets out a counter-exceptionalism thesis based on the theory and evidence from public policy. It then summarises the post-devolution evidence, producing insights on the British policy style when compared to the ‘new politics' in Scotland.

policy styles; policy communities; British politics; devolution; Scotland ; Decentralization in government Great Britain

Political Studies Review: Volume 9, Issue 2

Publication date31/05/2011
PublisherWiley-Blackwell for Political Studies Association

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Professor Paul Cairney

Professor Paul Cairney

Professor, Politics