A Hogmanay message from ScotRes

As 2017 comes to an end, today marks an ideal opportunity to look-back over the past six months and think about what might lie ahead in the coming year for ScotRes.

ScotRes launched on 29 June 2017 with a paper from historian Naomi Lloyd-Jones, entitled ‘Liberalism versus nationalism? Scottish Home Rule in the late 19th century’. Naomi’s paper covered the period 1886-1912 and raised many important themes that resonate in contemporary British and Scottish politics.

This event was followed by ‘Pathways to statehood: Scotland and Catalonia’, which took place on 4 September 2017. Organised with the Centre for Small States and the Delegation of the Government of Catalonia to the United Kingdom and Ireland, this event featured presentations by Chris BamberyAlexandra Remond and Josep Costa.

Presenters at the ‘Pathways to Statehood: Scotland and Catalonia’.

Since September’s event, Catalonia held an independence referendum on 1 October 2017, attracting the attention of the world, and a subsequent election on 21 December 2017. As events continue to unfold in 2018, Catalonia will hopefully remain in the minds of those with an interest in independence movements, human rights and the role and power of the European Union.

On 22 October 2017, ScotRes hosted the panel discussion ‘Four conversations: A United Kingdom?’ as part of this year’s Bloomsbury Festival.  The four speakers (Ewen CameronJennifer ThomsonDaryl Leeworthy and JD Taylor) came from a range of specialisms and shared their views on the relationships between constituent parts of the United (or Disunited) Kingdom.

Panellists at ‘Four conversations: A United Kingdom?’.

Since the Bloomsbury Festival, we have taken time to speak with past attendees, researchers, local groups and consider what worked well and what could we improve upon.

What lies ahead for ScotRes in 2018? Future predictions are never easy –  for example, nobody would have predicted the political rollercoaster of 2017 if you had asked them on 31 December 2016.

What we do know, however, is that ScotRes is keen to expand its reach and significance among those working on research related to Scotland and Scottish independence, as well as people who have an interest in this area. We continue to believe that this will be best achieved by following an ethos where ScotRes is open to everyone and not affiliated to any political party, adopts a cross-disciplinary approach, and explores work that presents the strengths and challenges of Scottish independence.

Excitingly, plans for 2018 are already starting to develop. ScotRes is participating in the Association for Art Historians annual conference in April 2018 at King’s College London. The conference will include a full-day session of papers, organised by ScotRes co-organisers, under the heading ‘#LeaderImage – Exploring, analysing and challenging attitudes towards gender and leadership in images of politicians in the digital age’. Some papers in this session will examine the themes of gender, leadership and power within the context of recent events in Scotland. For further information on the session, visit the AAH conference page.

We are also in the process of developing future events that cut across themes, including culture, education, Brexit and Scotland’s relationship with Ireland.

Most of our 2017 events were developed with partners (including the Bloomsbury Festival, the Centre for Small States and the Delegation of the Government of Catalonia to the United Kingdom and Ireland). We found these partnerships extremely successful and intend to work alongside other groups and organisations in the coming year.

ScotRes is always keen to hear from people with an interest in getting involved – whether it be through sharing their work or supporting in any other way, so please get in touch by email scotresearch@gmail.com or via our Twitter page.

Thank you for your interest in ScotRes and we hope to see you at a future event in 2018.

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