John P. Mackintosh, Devolution and the Union

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    This article provides a discussion of the political thinking of John P. Mackintosh (1929–1978) around the debate over Scottish devolution, and the constitutional reform of the UK, during the 1960s and 1970s. The article explores Mackintosh's ‘Union State’ vision of the UK and connects this to his interest in, and study of, the Northern Ireland experience of devolution from 1921 to 1972. It also considers the significance of Mackintosh's confrontations with Scottish nationalism and suggests that his unionism was representative of a more authentic and rooted tradition than is usually acknowledged. The article offers an evaluation of Mackintosh's legacy and considers the extent to which the questions he posed, and the lines of argument he advanced, have retained their relevance and interest in the new context of partial devolution in the UK, and in the current period of renewed constitutional speculation and debate over the future of the Union and the UK.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)557-578
    Number of pages22
    JournalParliamentary Affairs
    Issue number3
    Early online date28 Feb 2012
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013

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