University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

The Working Group on Scottish Sport and the Scottish Independence Referendum: an Unrealised Political 'Imaginary'?

Whigham, Stuart (2015) The Working Group on Scottish Sport and the Scottish Independence Referendum: an Unrealised Political 'Imaginary'? In: Sport, Politics and Social Policy Annual Conference 2015, 7th - 8th January 2015, Durham University.

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In September 2014, a historic referendum on the issue of Scottish independence was held, with the potential to dissolve the political union between Scotland and the other constituent nations of the United Kingdom which had survived intact since the 1707 Act of Union. On a significantly high electoral turnout of 84.6%, the Scottish electorate opted to reject the proposals of the governing party in the devolved Scottish Parliament, the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP), to create an independent Scottish state, with 55.3% of the electorate voting ‘No’ to Scottish independence against a 44.7% ‘Yes’ vote. In the grand scheme of the Scottish independence referendum campaigns, sports policy remained a somewhat peripheral issue within the arguments forwarded by the Yes Scotland and Better Together campaigns. Nonetheless, developments such as the formation of the 'Sport for Yes' campaign sub-group, the inclusion of sport within the Scottish Government’s White Paper on Scottish independence and the establishment of the Working Group on Scottish Sport demonstrated that the potential implications of independence were still deemed significant enough to merit a degree of policy planning by the Scottish Government (Lafferty, 2014; Scottish Government, 2013; Working Group on Scottish Sport, 2013, 2014). This paper will critically consider the implications of the 'No' vote in the Scottish independence referendum for the latter of these developments, the policy proposals of the Working Group for Scottish Sport. Drawing upon the principles of critical discourse analysis, specifically the analytical framework proposed by Fairclough and Fairclough (2012), the content of this group's proposal will be examined in order to critically explore the policy for Scottish sport it envisaged for an independent Scottish state. The paper will then conclude by reflecting upon the extent to which elements of this political 'imaginary' (Fairclough and Fairclough, 2012) of Scottish sport remain a possibility for future sports policy in Scotland following the eventual 'No' vote in the referendum.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: Scottish sport, Scotland, sport policy, Independence Referendum
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN1187 Scotland
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > School of Sport and Exercise Science
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Depositing User: Stuart Whigham
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2015 10:26
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:06

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