Scotland as an Independent Small State: Where would it seek shelter?

Alyson J.K. Bailes, Baldur Þórhallsson, Rachael Lorna Johnstone


A planned referendum in 2014 on Scottish independence gives cause to examine that scenario in the light of small state studies and recent European experience. One of the best-supported assumptions in small state literature is that small countries need to form alliances and seek protection from larger neighboring states and/or international institutions. Small European states have generally sought shelter from the European Union (EU) and NATO. This study confirms that an independent Scotland would need strategic, political, economic and societal shelter, and could look for the various elements within existing European institutions, from its closest southern and northern neightbours, and from the US. However, protection may come with a certain cost - just as union with another entity does at present.


Scotland; independence; small states; strategy; shelter; European institutions; Nordic affairs; Arctic.


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