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Rethinking Scotland In A Global Context


The Department of Geography and Sociology at Stratchclyde University is hosting a three day international conference on Neoliberal Scotland? Rethinking Scotland in the global context.

Has devolution delivered what was expected in Scotland? Has the experience of devolution been a positive one? How do we judge its success? Has Scotland become more ‘open’ and a new political culture developed? How does experience in Scotland relate to rampant neo-liberalism across the globe? How is contemporary resistance to its influences shaped? Or is Scotland immune? How does Scotland compare with other places like Wales and other EU countries?

These crucial questions and many others will be addressed at a major conference at the University of Strathclyde from Friday 19 May to Sunday 21 May.

Seven years on from the creation of the first Scottish Parliament, it is time to begin a process of critical reflection and to assess whether devolution has brought about, in the words of Scotland’s first First Minister, “a fair and just settlement for Scotland” that would strengthen democratic control and make the government more accountable”.

It is also time to look at the changing nature of post-devolutionary Scottish life and critical examine living in Scotland in the 21st Century from a global perspective.


• Neoliberal Hegemony or the Transnational Capitalist Class: A debate between Leslie Sklair (author of The Transnational Capitalist Class (2003) and Dieter Plehwe (editor of Neoliberal Hegemony, (2005))
• Neil Davidson, the renowned Scottish historian and author of the Deutscher prize winning book Discovering the Scottish Revolutions
• Colin Leys (author of Market driven Politics (2003) on the Neoliberal war on democracy in the UK
• Mike Gonzalez on resisting neoliberalism in Latin America
• Alex Law and Gerry Mooney will introduce a discussion on the mainstream ways of understanding Scotland and why they are inadequate.
• Colin Clark on what is wrong with the 'happiness' agenda of the Executive
• Alastair Macintosh on Land reform and counter-globalisation
• Tommy Sheridan MSP, Chris Ballance MSP

• Sessions on
• The environment: environmental justice, unsustainable fish farming, the new dash for Nuclear power,
• Privatisation: the privatisation of Scottish Water, Housing stock transfer , Wales and Neoliberalism, neoliberal Dundee and neoliberal Glasgow.
• The Corporate takeover of Scotland: Sessions on think tanks and New Labour, the hidden hand of corporate lobbyists, The Royal Bank of Scotland and corporate community involvement
• Class and Inequality: Inequality in Scotland, Social Justice, Crime control, the Scottish Ruling Class
• Resistance in the new Scotland: resisting neoliberalism in Scotland, the Radical Scottish tradition, co-opting dissent, Social Justice, the lessons of the French protests for Scotland, alternatives to the council tax
• Reports on the protests against the G8 at Gleneagles in 2005
• Workshops and roundtable discussions with community activists on the lessons learned in resisting PPP and housing stock transfer.
• Round table: ‘In and against the state’: Rethinking the argument (with Jim Crowther, Ian Martin and Mae Shaw (Edinburgh University), Ian Cooke (Pilton Partnership), Dod Forrest (Aberdeen City Council), Eurig Scandrett (Queen Margaret University) and Iyaah Warren (Freelance community educator))
• Debate on Scotland’s Integrated Colleges: Success story or disaster area? with Unison, The Association of Scottish Colleges, the Campaign for Further Education and Labour Party and SNP speakers.
• Social, film screenings.

The conference is supported by the Public Interest Research Network, Scottish Left Review and the Scottish Social Policy Network

Full programme available:

Department of Geography and Sociology
Strathclyde University
50 Richmond St
Glasgow G1 1XN
Department office 0141 548 3606
Department webpage

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