The unfinished business of devolution

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The UK’s devolution reforms were built on long-standing practices of differentiated territorial administration in the non-English parts of the UK. With devolution those practices became subject to new democratic processes, transforming territorial administration into territorial politics. The reforms were introduced in a piecemeal basis, lacking an overall conception of the impact of devolution on the UK state, and lacking consideration of how the government of the non-devolved unit of England can, through its size and weight within the UK, impact on and constrain devolved government. The combination of piecemeal reform and the ‘English question’ raises a number of open questions about the coherence and stability of the devolution arrangements, especially at the point when governments run by different parties import partisan considerations into territorial politics.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)92-108
Number of pages17
JournalPolitical Quarterly
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • devolution
  • constitutional change
  • Scottish devolution
  • Great Britain

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