Presentation Title

“Love Not Fear:” Assessing the Saliency of Social Justice Policy in the Success of the Scottish National Party

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

Watkins 2240

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Abstract

“Love not fear” examines the success of the Scottish independence movement through the rhetorical and ideological framework of the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) 1997 pre-election television broadcast. How has the party’s rhetoric shifted to incorporate the issues and language of social justice? How successful has this shift been in appealing to the economically disenfranchised? These questions are answered through the lens of the party’s three main goals: gaining independence for Scotland, controlling the Scottish Parliament at the Holyrood, and influencing policy at Westminster. The author hypothesizes that the party’s shift to the left after the Great Recession of 2008 both highlighted its appeal as an anti-establishment force and emphasized the need for change in an uncertain economic climate. Evidence is found through a qualitative analysis of the party’s manifestos from 1999 to 2016 and a correlation analysis of election results and variables of social exclusion. This analysis suggests that the party’s support for neo-liberal economics was essential to its success in appealing to middle-class voters before the recession, but ultimately was deemphasized after the 2010 General Election. Correlation analysis suggests that the party has done progressively stronger in areas with higher unemployment and crime since 1999.

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Nov 12th, 2:45 PM Nov 12th, 3:00 PM

“Love Not Fear:” Assessing the Saliency of Social Justice Policy in the Success of the Scottish National Party

Watkins 2240

“Love not fear” examines the success of the Scottish independence movement through the rhetorical and ideological framework of the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) 1997 pre-election television broadcast. How has the party’s rhetoric shifted to incorporate the issues and language of social justice? How successful has this shift been in appealing to the economically disenfranchised? These questions are answered through the lens of the party’s three main goals: gaining independence for Scotland, controlling the Scottish Parliament at the Holyrood, and influencing policy at Westminster. The author hypothesizes that the party’s shift to the left after the Great Recession of 2008 both highlighted its appeal as an anti-establishment force and emphasized the need for change in an uncertain economic climate. Evidence is found through a qualitative analysis of the party’s manifestos from 1999 to 2016 and a correlation analysis of election results and variables of social exclusion. This analysis suggests that the party’s support for neo-liberal economics was essential to its success in appealing to middle-class voters before the recession, but ultimately was deemphasized after the 2010 General Election. Correlation analysis suggests that the party has done progressively stronger in areas with higher unemployment and crime since 1999.