Brook, Jane (2018) Celtic Ties That Bind? An Examination of Scotland’s Influence on Northern Ireland Politics Following the Scottish Independence Referendum. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

The purpose of this study is to determine the current political and cultural relationship that exists between Northern Ireland and Scotland following the Scottish independence referendum. It utilises semi-structured interviews conducted with senior Northern Irish political elites from across the political spectrum to examine their perceptions not only with regard to the referendum but also in relation to the institutional and non-institutional links that exist between both countries, the aim being to discover how politically significant these connections currently are. The research focused initially on the interaction of Northern Ireland’s politicians with the referendum and centred on their approaches to the campaign and reactions to the result. It then examined in turn the perceptions of political elites to matters such as inter-governmental relations, policy making and issues of culture and identity. Overall, the study finds that there is resonance of such connections for politicians in Northern Ireland yet due to the entrenched ethno-centric nature of politics in the region, they attach little political significance to such links. Therefore, the key recommendation for this study is that if these ties between Northern Ireland and Scotland are to be explored and developed, then it is proposed that civil society organisations rather than the political elite be the ones to engage in such a project.

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