Referendum blog goes live

The University has launched its Referendum Blog to inform public debate leading up to the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence.

Entitled Scotland’s Referendum: Informing the Debate, the blog will host expert analysis from academics across the University and beyond.

Impartial information

A recent report from the Electoral Commission underlined the need for impartial information in the run-up to the poll.

The Commission’s research highlighted the demand among the voting public for greater clarity on what independence would mean.

These are exciting times in Scotland’s political life. We are dedicated to playing our part, by providing impartial and informed analysis of key issues and events as they unfold.
Dr Nicola McEwenDirector of Public Policy at the University of Edinburgh Academy of Government

There is a clear role for the academic community in providing objective analysis, based on robust research, on what each possible outcome might mean for Scotland, the UK and the international community.

Breadth of comment and analysis

Informed by world-leading research at the University and elsewhere, the blog will look at issues including the legal, political and economic implications of independence.

This includes the likely impact of independence on public policy, foreign policy and relations with the EU, and the lessons to be learned from Scotland's history and from other nations and states experiencing debates over their constitutional future.

The blog will also feature information on key events, discussions and new research relevant to the referendum debate.

Doubtless there will be positive and less positive messages coming from both sides between now and the referendum about the consequences of voting YES or NO. The polarisation of the debate seems inevitable. But helping voters to make an informed choice is crucial. This is not just a matter for politicians, campaigners and statutory bodies like the Electoral Commission. The academic community has a vital role to play.Many of our academics are already deeply engaged in examining the referendum process, as well as the implications of its outcome for Scotland and the rest of the UK.Between now and the referendum, this Blog will provide a platform for our research, commentary and events dedicated to informing debate and voters’ understanding of the issues at stake.
Dr Nicola McEwenDirector of Public Policy at the University of Edinburgh Academy of Government