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The Path to Devolution and Change: A Political History of Scotland Under Margaret Thatcher

The Path to Devolution and Change: A Political History of Scotland Under Margaret Thatcher
David Stewart

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Margaret Thatcher's premiership from 1979 to 1990 had a profound impact on Scotland. David Stewart analyzes the impact of this period of Conservative government on Scotland, while examining the extent to which Conservative policy under Thatcher represented a break from the 'post-war consensus' in British politics. Focusing on the origins and impact of the poll tax, the campaign to save Ravenscraig steelworks, the sharpening of the North/South divide, the 1984/85 miners' strike, and the balance of power within Scottish civil society, he makes substantial contributions to the debates surrounding the decline of Scottish Unionism, the roots of Scottish devolution, the legacy of Thatcherism, and the changing British constitution.

Author Info

David Stewart was awarded his PhD from the Scottish History Department at Glasgow University in 2005 and is now a lecturer in history at the University of Central Lancashire.


'As a Scottish historian, with a particular interest in Scotland's twentieth-century history, I strongly welcome this book. It has the virtue of considering crucial, yet underrated issues in Scotland's recent pre-devolution history, such as the impact of deindustrialisation, the trade union legacy, important non-parliamentary political influences, the distinctiveness of local government, the role of the welfare state and the ever-increasing powers of the Scottish Office. Scotland has tended to be a footnote in histories of the Thatcher years. Yet, Stewart shows explicitly how Conservative policies north of the Border were able to rally cross-party opinion, together with a range of Scottish institutions (e.g. the church, trade unions, local government) into countering what was perceived as a divisive Westminster-imposed Unionist agenda.'
Irene Maver, Senior Lecturer and Head of Scottish Area, Department of Scottish History, University of Glasgow;'

David Stewart displays a detailed knowledge of the field of study and in his careful dissection of existing literature on the topic, shows a good critical sense. This study makes an original contribution to knowledge through its examination of the impact of the Thatcher government in Scotland... The policies of the Thatcher government in Scotland are studied in relation to the post-war consensus and their lack of success is understood in relation to the continuing popularity of that consensus in Scotland and the ability of Scottish civil society to organise in defence of it. It has added relevance at the present time, given recent events in Scottish politics and the continuing ascendancy of the SNP. This book will be of interest to all who study British politics and contemporary British history.'
Andrew Gamble, Professor of Politics, University of Cambridge

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.
Series: International Library of Political Studies

ISBN: 9781845119386
Publication Date: 29 Aug 2009
Number of Pages: 320
Height: 216
Width: 134
Illustrations: 16 integrated black and white illustrations

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