Security in a Small Nation: Scotland, Democracy, Politics - cover image

Book Series


Andrew W. Neal. Copyright of individual chapters is maintained by the chapter’s author.

Published On





  • English

Print Length

252 pages (xii + 240)


Paperback156 x 13 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.53" x 9.21")
Hardback156 x 16 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.63" x 9.21")


Paperback792g (27.94oz)
Hardback1173g (41.38oz)



OCLC Number





  • JP
  • JPRB
  • JPSL


  • POL012000


  • DA765


  • Scotland
  • independence
  • Referendum
  • security
  • intelligence
  • regional cooperation
  • terrorism
  • small states
  • constitutional debates
  • nationhood
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Security in a Small Nation

Scotland, Democracy, Politics

  • Andrew W. Neal (editor)
The 2014 Referendum on Scottish independence sparked debate on every dimension of modern statehood. Levels of public interest and engagement were unprecedented, as demonstrated by record-breaking voter turnout. Yet aside from Trident, the issue of security was relatively neglected in the campaigns, and there remains a lack of literature on the topic. In this volume Andrew Neal has collated a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives on security and constitutional change in Scotland and the UK, including writing from experts in foreign policy analysis, intelligence studies, parliamentary studies, and journalism.

Security in a Small Nation provides an illuminating analysis of the politics of security. Its authors reflect on a number of related issues including international comparisons, alliances, regional cooperation, terrorism, intelligence sharing, democratic oversight, and media coverage. It has a particular focus on what security means for small states and democratic politics.
The book draws on current debates about the extent of intelligence powers and their implications for accountability, privacy, and human rights. It examines the foreign and security policy of other small states through the prism of Scottish independence, providing unique insight into the bureaucratic and political processes associated with multi-level security governance. These contributions provide a detailed picture of the changing landscape of security, including the role of diverse and decentralised agencies, and new security interdependencies within and between states.

The analysis presented in this book will inform ongoing constitutional debates in the UK and the study of other secessionist movements around the world. Security in a Small Nation is essential reading for any follower of UK and Scottish politics, and those with an interest in security and nationhood on a global scale.

Additional Resources

This book is the product of a seminar series funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council entitled ‘Security in Scotland, with or without constitutional change’, which ran from 2013-2015 at the University of Edinburgh (grant reference ES/L00139X/1). The Reports from this seminar series can be read and downloaded below:

Table of Contents


Notes on Contributors

Introduction by Andrew W. Neal

1. Perspectives on Small State Security in the Scottish Independence Debate by Juliet Kaarbo and Daniel Kenealy

2. Do Small States Need ‘Alliance Shelter’? Scotland and the Nordic Nations by Baldur Thorhallsson and Alyson J. K. Bailes

3. Security, Privacy and Oversight by Charles D. Raab

4. Parliamentary Oversight of Intelligence Agencies: Lessons from Westminster by Hugh Bochel and Andrew Defty

5. Scotland and the Politics of Intelligence Accountability by Colin Atkinson, Nick Brooke and Brian Harris

6. ‘Hardly a Moment’s Discussion’? Intelligence and the Scottish Referendum by Sandy Hardie

7. Press Scrutiny and the Proposals for Security and Intelligence in an Independent Scotland by Eamonn P. O’Neill

8. To Speak Security or Not to Speak Security? Responsibility and Deference in the Scottish Independence Debate by Andrew W. Neal

Concluding Remarks: The Narrative of Security and Pathways of Transition by Thierry Balzacq


Andrew W. Neal

Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at University of Edinburgh