Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Devolution has meant growing policy differences between Scotland, Wales and England

18.03.2005


Significantly different approaches to key public policy issues have emerged in Scotland and Wales since devolution, as the new administrations in Edinburgh and Cardiff have rejected consumer choice and diversity in favour of professionalism and uniformity.



This is one of the key findings in a new study by researchers from the University of Aberdeen and Cardiff University. Their research was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, as part of its Devolution and Constitutional Change Programme.

Michael Keating, Professor of Scottish Politics at the University of Aberdeen, explains: “The Labour Party may be the dominant political force in London, Edinburgh and Cardiff. But Scotland and Wales have stuck more to the traditional social democratic model of public service delivery.


“This has led them to stress non-selectivity, professionalism and uniformity, while rejecting foundation hospitals, star-rated hospitals, school league tables, beacon councils, elite universities and selective schools. Scotland also scrapped up-front university tuition fees and rejected top-up fees. At the same time, free care for the elderly has been introduced north of the border.”

The researchers identified several factors which may explain this difference. “There’s a different policy style in Scotland and Wales, where there is a much greater emphasis on the public sector professional,” says co-researcher John Loughlin, Professor of European Studies at Cardiff University.

“And those professionals tend to be more supportive than their English counterparts of universal services. There are also different political pressures. Polling evidence suggests that Scottish voters are somewhat more supportive of redistribution than English voters. More importantly, Labour in Scotland and Wales faces more competition from the left, through nationalist parties and the Scottish Socialists. In England, the government needs to appeal to the middle classes who otherwise might opt out of the welfare state.”

A quarter of the population in the South East of England has private medical insurance, compared to just ten per cent of Scots. And eleven per cent of SE pupils go to private schools, compared with just three per cent of Scottish pupils.

The researchers looked in detail at higher education and rural policies. “In higher education, the differences extended beyond fees, particularly in Scotland,” says Prof Keating. “Scottish policy makers tend to work collaboratively with the universities. They never had the sort of ‘naming and shaming’ which the Quality Assurance Agency inspections brought in England, focusing on co-operative approaches to improving performance instead.”

Prof Loughlin adds: “And while the English approach has emphasised management, regulation and differentiation, the Scottish approach has stressed professional autonomy, consensus, egalitarianism and policy learning. Though Wales is more constrained than Scotland, it too has sought to develop a more egalitarian approach to higher education.”

Two aspects of rural policy were particularly important: reform of the Common Agricultural Policy and the response to the 2001 foot and mouth crisis.

“The presence of the Liberal Democrats in the coalition led the Scottish government to take a more pro-farmer position than England,” adds Prof Keating. “Pressure from hill farmers meant they were cool about the idea being suggested that a proportion of farmers’ payments be set aside for a rural development fund. With extra Treasury funding, it was able to develop a different approach to the new system and negotiate variations in European Union policy for Scotland.”

Prof Loughlin adds: “Welsh ministers felt constrained both by the limits of devolution and EU law from setting up their own emergency services, which they believe could have eradicated foot and mouth disease more quickly, and from treating Welsh cattle differently. However, devolution proved particularly effective in Northern Ireland, where the agriculture minister quickly closed the ports and secured cross-community co-operation to eradicate the disease more speedily than the rest of the UK.”

Becky Gammon | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esrc.ac.uk

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

nachricht Internet use in class tied to lower test scores
16.12.2016 | Michigan State University

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA eyes Pineapple Express soaking California

24.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

New gene for atrazine resistance identified in waterhemp

24.02.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

New Mechanisms of Gene Inactivation may prevent Aging and Cancer

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>