Federalism in a Unitary State: A Paradox too Far?

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This paper takes the devolution settlements in the UK as a model of accommodation of territorial diversity, with a focus mainly upon devolution to Scotland. It is argued that the Scotland Act 1998, while in many ways a coherent attempt to meet the demands of national diversity, may also, paradoxically, contain elements that in the long run have the potential to destabilize the UK. We address the non-federal model that has been used to manage the plurinational UK, highlighting certain elements of this ad hoc arrangement which seem useful to the management of pluralism and others which seem to exacerbate the risk of secessionism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-53
Number of pages18
JournalRegional & Federal Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Constitutional Law
  • Devolution
  • United Kingdom
  • Scotland
  • plurinational state


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