The Scottish Economy and Nationalism: Constructing Scotland’s Imagined Economy

James Foley*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Scotland’s economic capacity to prosper independently of Britain has become a key political issue, dominating the independence referendum of 2014 and continuing to influence British politics since. But, as this book shows, the Scottish economy is not merely a statistical object – it is also a political, sociological and cultural idea which has been imagined and constructed.

The book explores the history of how Scotland has been framed in statistical and policy terms, which are laden with conflicts over meaning, ranging from class struggles and struggles against "external control" to the ongoing debate over national independence. Using Scotland as a case study for examining the political meaning of "the economy", the book also considers the origins of efforts to measure the Scottish economy in the British nationalist terms of "regional policy". It then considers the influence, in turn, of North Sea oil, globalisation/Europeanisation, class dealignment and neoliberal "enterprise" ideology in changing the meanings attached to the Scottish economy. These form necessary conditions for the debate on national independence, where the nature and the future of the Scottish economy remain the central controversy. By examining the economic ideas of a self-proclaimed "cosmopolitan" nationalist movement, the study will offer deeper insights into how nationalists are adapting to the crisis of globalisation.

This book marks a significant contribution to the literature on Scottish independence as well as economic sociology, nationalism, critical geography and political economy more broadly.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages174
ISBN (Electronic)9781003343820
ISBN (Print)9781032381732
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • General Business,Management and Accounting


Dive into the research topics of 'The Scottish Economy and Nationalism: Constructing Scotland’s Imagined Economy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this