Rory Scothorne

PhD Student - Scottish History


Rory grew up in Edinburgh. He completed an undergraduate degree in History and Politics at the University of Edinburgh, briefly escaping for an academic exchange year in the United States at Washington University in St. Louis. After finishing his masters' degree in Social and Political Thought at the University of Sussex in 2015, he returned to Edinburgh to work as a researcher for the Electoral Reform Society Scotland before beginning his doctoral studies in 2016. His studies are funded by the AHRC, and supervised by Professor Ewen Cameron and Professor James Mitchell.


2014-2015: MA, Social & Political Thought, University of Sussex

2010-2014: MA (Hons), History and Politics, University of Edinburgh

Research summary

Rory's research concerns the relationship between the radical left and nationalism in Scotland between the 1960s and the late-1990s. Academics and commentators on Scottish politics tend to ascribe "radical" and "left-wing" characteristics to the demands for Scottish political autonomy during this era, and to Scottish political culture more generally. However, little work has been done on the Scottish radical left itself in the second half of the twentieth century, allowing such claims to be made without any clear reference point. Rory aims to investigate how the "radical left" was constituted and understood during this era, and the extent to which its ideas and practices shaped, and were shaped by, issues of national identity and autonomy. 

Current research interests

Modern Scottish, British and European History; Nationalism; Twentieth-century Social and Political Thought; Marxism, Critical Theory and Poststructuralism

Articles: Rory Scothorne, 'From the Outer Edge', London Review of Books (6 December 2018)

Rory Scothorne, 'Pop Your Own Abscess', London Review of Books (22 February 2018)

Rory Scothorne, 'Short Cuts: Class Over Nation', London Review of Books (14 December 2017)

Book Chapter: Rory Scothorne and Ewan Gibbs, "'Origins of the Present Crisis?': The Emergence and Development of 'Left-wing' Nationalism in Scotland, 1956-1979" in Evan Smith and Matthew Worley (eds.), Waiting For The Revolution: The British Far Left Since 1956, Vol.II (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2017) (forthcoming)

Book: Cailean Gallagher, Rory Scothorne and Amy Westwell, Roch Winds: A Treacherous Guide to the State of Scotland (Edinburgh: Luath, 2016)