Alex Salmond's Scottish National Party is currently mounting Scotland's biggest challenge to the British union since the conception of the nation. Nevertheless, as Tom Gallagher makes clear, if the Union were demolished, widespread change would still remain elusive. Close-knit administrative, commercial, and religious elites continue to run Scotland with no strategy for reviving its economy and reforming its urban centers. Gallagher contends that the SNP is not committed to independence. Rather, it exists as a super-unionist party recoiling from popular sovereignty, seeking instead the federalist rule of a postnational Europe. Gallagher also points to the SNP's endorsement of a radical multiculturalism that devalues individual citizenship and places Scotland at the losing end of globalization. His hard-hitting analysis is beyond provocative, especially in its claim that if the SNP triumphs, the party will reinforce the very authoritarian trends that have disfigured Scottish history and encouraged emigration for decades.
Tom Gallagher is a well-known commentator on Scottish politics and professor of peace studies at the University of Bradford.