Public Release: 

Conference examines political and economic challenges of Scottish devolution

Economic & Social Research Council

A wide-ranging assessment of the successes and challenges of Scottish devolution after nearly six years of a Scottish Parliament will take place in Edinburgh later this month.

An Economic and Social Research Council conference will bring together academics, civil servants and other senior government figures to consider key issues including

  • Scotland's relationship with the rest of the United Kingdom
  • Scottish elections and the openness of Scottish decision-making
  • Whether Scotland produces more innovative policies and better laws
  • Whether devolution is good for Scotland's economy

The conference, to be held at the Carlton Hotel, North Bridge, Edinburgh on Friday, 18 March 2005 from 9.30-18.00, will be opened by the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, the Rt Hon George Reid MSP.

In addition to the academic contributions on the day, contributors will include Wendy Alexander MSP, and Joyce MacMillan, Convenor of the Management Board of the Scottish Civic Forum.

The day will conclude with a round table discussion involving MSPs Susan Deacon and Nicola Sturgeon, Prof David McCrone (Edinburgh University), James Mitchell (Strathclyde University) and Chris Deerin (Scotland on Sunday).

The papers to be presented will reflect key findings from the ESRC's Devolution and Constitutional Change Programme.


Journalists wishing to attend should contact Professor Charlie Jeffery at the University of Edinburgh on Tel: 44-131-650-4266 or Email:


Professor Charlie Jeffery, Tel: 44-131-650-4266 or Email:

Or Iain Stewart, Lesley Lilley or Becky Gammon at ESRC on 01793 413032/413119/413122

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