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Appears in Collections:History and Politics Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Intergovernmental Relations in Scotland: what was the SNP effect?
Author(s): Cairney, Paul
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Keywords: intergovernmental relations
policy communities
minority government
Issue Date: May-2012
Date Deposited: 24-Jul-2013
Citation: Cairney P (2012) Intergovernmental Relations in Scotland: what was the SNP effect?. British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 14 (2), pp. 231-249.
Abstract: In Scotland, the formation of a minority government in 2007 by the Scottish National Party (SNP) provided the potential for profound changes in intergovernmental relations. This followed eight years of a Scottish Labour-led coalition government characterised by a low-key and informal relationship with the UK Labour government. From 1999 to 2007, discussions were conducted informally and almost entirely through political parties and executives (ministers and civil servants). Although formal mechanisms for negotiation and dispute resolution existed-including the courts, concordats and Joint Ministerial Committees-they were used rarely. The Scottish Executive also played a minimal role in EU policy-making. Yet, an ‘explosive' new era of relations between the Scottish and UK governments did not arrive in tandem with the new era of party incongruence. The aim of this article is to explore these issues by asking two main questions: why were formal mechanisms used so rarely from 1999 to 2007, and what factors produced muted rather than problematic IGR in the third parliamentary session, between 2007 and 2011?
DOI Link: 10.1111/j.1467-856X.2011.00493.x
Rights: This item has been embargoed for a period. During the embargo please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study. Publisher policy allows this work to be made available in this repository. Published in The British Journal of Politics & International Relations, Volume 14, Issue 2, pages 231–249, May 2012, by Political Studies Association and Blackwell Publishing. The definitive version is available at

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