Nationalism and Self-Government

The Politics of Autonomy in Scotland and Catalonia

By Scott L. Greer

Subjects: European Politics
Series: SUNY series in National Identities
Paperback : 9780791470480, 234 pages, January 2008
Hardcover : 9780791470473, 234 pages, March 2007

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Table of contents

1. Autonomy and Its Explanations
2. Two Stateless Nations: Scotland and Catalonia
Part I: Politics
3. Scotland 1960–1979: The Road to Nowhere
4. Scotland 1979–1997: Centralization and Backlash
5. Catalonia 1975–1980: Compelling Autonomy
6. Catalonia 1980–2000
Part II: Policies
7. Shaping Autonomous Scotland: The Scotland Office and Scotland Acts
8. Constructing Catalonia: Policy Sectors and the Politics of Competencies
9. Will they stay or will they go?

Examines the nature of nationalist mobilization in Scotland and Catalonia.


Scotland and Catalonia, both ancient nations with strong nationalisms within larger states, are exemplars of the management of ethnic conflict in multinational democracies and of global trends toward regional government. Focusing on these two countries, Scott L. Greer explores why nationalist mobilization arose when it did and why it stopped at autonomy rather than statehood. He challenges the notion that national identity or institutional design explains their relative success as stable multinational democracies and argues that the key is their strong regional societies and their regional organizations' preferences for autonomy and environmental stability

Scott L. Greer is Assistant Professor of Health Management and Policy at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He is the author of Territorial Politics and Health Policy: UK Health Policy in Comparative Perspective and the editor of Territory, Democracy, and Justice: Regionalism and Federalism in Western Democracies.


"…the book constitutes a valuable addition to the literature on regionalization and territorial dynamics in plurinational contexts. It is particularly recommended to a specialized audience on the subject and researchers with some knowledge of Spanish and British politics, and it can also be appropriate as complementary reading material for postgraduate degree courses." — Regional and Federal Studies

"…Greer provides a well-researched and well-written overview of the relationship between civil society and nationalist mobilisation movements in Scotland and Catalonia … Nationalism and Self-Government is an excellent volume for anyone interested in territorial mobilisation in general of the politics of autonomy and devolution in Britain or Spain in particular." — Political Studies Review

"…Greer's text offers an original, insightful and accessible account of regionalist politics in Scotland and Catalonia." — Nations and Nationalism

"Greer offers a very important set of general questions and issues related to the broader context of devolution and global-local relations. The idea of civic nationalism presented here has a strong potentiality to become a 'new' form of diversity governance." — Joan Subirats, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

"This is a significant topic, especially in Europe and Canada. The author provides an excellent critical review of the theoretical literature and also introduces some interesting ideas to the subject." — Stéphane Paquin, Université de Sherbrooke