The Morality of Scottish Independence

Nicholson, Hunter (2014) The Morality of Scottish Independence. Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of Eric Weber from Public Policy Leadership, University of Mississippi.


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In September of 2014, Scottish citizens will have the opportunity to vote for Scottish independence from the United Kingdom. The present research uses the work of philosopher Allen Buchanan to judge the moral arguments for and against Scottish independence. Preferences of Scottish people were gathered through interviews with two professors of Politics and Governance at the University of Edinburgh, as well as members from every major party at the Scottish Parliament, and over sixty citizens from across Scotland. The interviews were qualitative in nature and were analyzed with Buchanan’s assessment of arguments for secession. The most prominent justifications concerned enhancing efficiency, the nationalist argument, escaping discriminatory redistribution, and rectifying past injustices. According to Buchanan, the strongest strong arguments here are the last two. This research shows that Scotland does have reasonable arguments, which, if not addressed, could be cause for secession. Scotland has not yet met Buchanan’s criteria, however, as it has not exhausted every possible avenue to achieve its goals as a member of the UK. Therefore, Scotland does not currently have sufficient moral justification for secession.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: Nicholson, Hunter
Student's Degree Program(s): B.A. in Public Policy Leadership
Thesis Advisor: Eric Weber
Thesis Advisor's Department: Public Policy Leadership
Institution: University of Mississippi
Subjects: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Depositing User: Hunter Nicholson
Date Deposited: 09 May 2014 16:00
Last Modified: 09 May 2014 16:00

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