Contexts for consent: the liberalisation of wedding provision since 1977

This is an adapted version of a work-in-progress presentation I gave at the seminar 'Some issues on marriage and divorce' at the School of Law, University of Glasgow, on 11 December 2017. It's a potted history of the development of the categories used in marriage registration in Scotland, followed by a speculative exploration of some … Continue reading Contexts for consent: the liberalisation of wedding provision since 1977

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MSc Thesis: Community Life and Political Culture in Hawick, c. 1945-75

I've been meaning to upload this for a while, but it was the Scottish Historical Conversations panel on modern history the other night that convinced me it might actually be of some interest to someone other than me. At that event, W. Hamish Fraser answered a question on the future of Scottish historical research by … Continue reading MSc Thesis: Community Life and Political Culture in Hawick, c. 1945-75

How to (maybe eventually after initial failure) Get PhD Funding

A couple of weeks back, Séan Richardson (@Southldntabby) put out a request for suggestions for an article he was putting together on how to get PhD funding (the result of which was an extremely detailed and useful guide which you should go read now). This clearly triggered some kind of mild trauma response in me, … Continue reading How to (maybe eventually after initial failure) Get PhD Funding

Workers and Whist Drives: on Class, Culture, and Unpromising Sources

We are frequently told now that anyone who enjoys a cheeky americano or saves up for Glastonbury tickets has no business in the Labour movement. This post, adapted from an essay written during my Masters, reflects on the apolitical aspects of politics in an era before 'authentocracy'; hopefully it provides some food for thought regarding our … Continue reading Workers and Whist Drives: on Class, Culture, and Unpromising Sources

‘Wan language – mair or less’: On Scots, the Arts, and the Uses of Ambiguity

With a regular column in 'The National', the Scots language has definitively joined the ranks of the myriad important topics reduced to proxies for a binary - and therefore circular - debate on national identity. Much of the discussion of Scots seems to hinge on the question of whether it is or isn't a language, … Continue reading ‘Wan language – mair or less’: On Scots, the Arts, and the Uses of Ambiguity

An Awkward Referendum: Section 28 and Popular Sovereignty in Post-Devolution Scotland

The recent slew of referendums, elections, and general political upsets in Scotland and rUK in recent years have brought the questions of democracy and popular sovereignty to the fore. It is tempting to see this area as yet another in which Scottish political culture is at odds with that of its neighbours: our concern for … Continue reading An Awkward Referendum: Section 28 and Popular Sovereignty in Post-Devolution Scotland

“Perhaps you are rather apt to take your house as a matter of course”: notes on civic pride and social housing

Next to the creation of the NHS, probably the most important government intervention of the years following the Second World War was the massive expansion of social housing. Attitudes tend to be polarised when it comes to council houses; we seem to dwell exclusively either on the dispiriting aesthetic of grey concrete, or (less frequently) … Continue reading “Perhaps you are rather apt to take your house as a matter of course”: notes on civic pride and social housing

Democracy Before the Deficit: The Lost History of Local Government in Scotland

The notion of 'democratic deficit' is firmly established in Scottish political culture. It took hold with a degree of urgency during the Thatcher years, arguably tipping the scales in favour of devolution in 1997, and graduated thereafter into the intellectual arsenal of independence movement. In both cases, the idea of 'deficit' posited Scotland's right as a nation … Continue reading Democracy Before the Deficit: The Lost History of Local Government in Scotland