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Appears in Collections:History and Politics Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Does Devolution Make a Difference? Legislative Output and Policy Divergence in Scotland
Authors: Keating, Michael
Stevenson, Linda
Cairney, Paul
Taylor, Katherine
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Issue Date: Sep-2003
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Citation: Keating M, Stevenson L, Cairney P & Taylor K (2003) Does Devolution Make a Difference? Legislative Output and Policy Divergence in Scotland, Journal of Legislative Studies, 9 (3), pp. 110-139.
Abstract: Devolution provides large scope for Scotland to make its own policy. Primary legislation is one measure of this. Scottish legislation before devolution tended to replicate measures for the rest of the United Kingdom, with differences of style. Scottish legislation in the first four-year term of the Parliament shows a big increase in output. There is an autonomous sphere, in which Scotland has gone its own way without reference to the rest of the UK. In other areas, there is evidence of joint or parallel policy-making, with Scottish legislation meeting the same goals by different means. Finally there is a sphere in which Scottish legislation is essentially the same as that in England and Wales. Sewel motions have not been used to impose policy uniformity on Scotland. There is evidence that devolution has shifted influence both vertically, between the UK and Scottish levels, and horizontally, within a Scottish legislative system that has been opened up.
Type: Journal Article
DOI Link:
Rights: This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in The Journal of Legislative Studies, Volume 9, Issue 3, 2003, pp.110-139, copyright Taylor & Francis, available online at:
Affiliation: European University Institute
University of Aberdeen
Department for Education

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