Magazine article Foreign Affairs

Recent Books: Western Europe: Devolution and the UK Economy

Magazine article Foreign Affairs

Recent Books: Western Europe: Devolution and the UK Economy

Article excerpt

Recent Books: Western Europe: Devolution and the UK Economy EDITED BY DAVID BAILEY AND LESLIE BUDD. Rowman & Littlefield, 2016, 240 pp.

In normal times, a book on local economics in the United Kingdom edited by two business professors would pass unnoticed. But these are not normal times, and the issue of whether British territorial subunits can prosper on their own has taken on vital importance. The volume sets forth some clear and convincing findings on the matter. One is that Scotland's relative poverty means that independence from the United Kingdom would be economic suicide. No matter what they say, the leaders of the pro-independence Scottish National Party likely have little interest in changing the current arrangement, in which they rule Scotland with the help of massive economic aid from London. This is paradoxical, because Scots who voted for independence in 2014 were motivated primarily by a desire for greater economic equality and not by nationalism. …

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