Luath Press Limited, 543/2 Castlehill, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, EH1 2ND
Tel: 0131 225 4326

Arguing for Independence: Evidence, Risk and the Wicked Issues

Arguing for Independence

Evidence, Risk and the Wicked Issues

Availability: In stock


eBook available from:

Arguing for Independence on Kindle Arguing for Independence on iBooks
Google Play | Kobo | Nook | Waterstones

Shortlisted for 'Polemic of the Year' at The Paddy Power/Total Politics Political Book Awards 2013!


Following an introductory chapter exploring why political argument deals in probability and plausibility across interdependent areas of social activity not certainty in individual areas, this book offers a case for independence under six main headings – the democratic case, the economic case, the social case, the international case, the cultural case and the environmental case. Under each heading, the case is assessed against both the supportive evidence and the hostile evidence, from a variety of sources, concluding with a judgement of where the balance of the evidence points. The book concludes with a selection of populist objections to independence answered by summary rebuttals from the independence file.

Title Arguing for Independence
Subtitle Evidence, Risk and the Wicked Issues
Author Stephen Maxwell
ISBN 9781908373335
eISBN 9781909912014
Binding Paperback
Author Bio STEPHEN MAXWELL was active in the debate on Scotland’s political future for four decades. A native of Edinburgh, he studied at the universities of Cambridge and the London School of Economics before teaching and researching in international politics at the universities of Sussex and Edinburgh and at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, London. He was the SNP’s national press officer between 1973 and 1977 and subsequently a Lothian Regional Councillor and director of the SNP’s campaign for a Yes vote in the 1979 Scottish Assembly referendum. Until October 2009 he was Associate Director of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations.
Back Cover Text Independence: a nation's right to effective government by its people or for its people

Evidence: interpretation of facts

Risk: likelihood that outcomes will not be as predicted

Wicked issues: problems perceived to be resistant to resolution

What sorts of arguments and evidence should carry the most wight in assessing the case for and against Scottish independence? Given the complexity of the question and the range of the possible consequences, can either side in the argument protend to certainty, or must we simply be satisfied with probability or even plausibility? Are there criteria for sifting the competing claims and counter-claims and arriving at a rational decision on Scotland's future?

In Arguing for Independence author Stephen Maxwell opens with a chapter on The Ways We Argue before exploring the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments for independence under six main headings:

the democratic case
the economic case
the social case
the international case
the cultural case
the environmental case

He also provides his own concise answers to some of the most frequent 'Aye but' responses to the case for independence.

By offering an assessment of the case for independence across all its dimensions, Arguing for Independence fills a longstanding gap in Scotland's political bookshelf as we enter a new and critical phase in the debate on Scotland's political future.
Reviews Stephen Maxwell has a positive, left-wing case for independence. SCOTTISH LEFT REVIEW Maxwell was an intellectual, a thinker, a writer, a civic activist, and a dedicated servant of Scotland’s voluntary sector. Joyce McMillan, THE SCOTSMAN
Table of Contents Preface by Owen Dudley Edwards


Ways of Arguing
The Democratic Case
The Economic Case
The Social Case
The International Case
The Cultural Case
The Environmental Case
‘Aye, but…’

Select Bibliography
List of Acronyms
BIC Subject Politics & government
This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more here.