Stephen Maxwell was born in Edinburgh in 1942 to a Scottish medical family. He grew up in Yorkshire and was educated there before winning a scholarship to St John’s College Cambridge, where he read Moral Sciences. This was followed by three years at the London School of Economics studying International Politics. Attracted by stirrings of Scottish Nationalism, he joined the London branch of the SNP in 1967. He worked as a research associate for the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London and a Lecturer in International Affairs at the University of Sussex. In 1970 he returned to Scotland as Chatham House Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. He was a frequent contributor to the cultural and political journals from Scottish International Review through Question to Radical Scotland, which fertilized the Scottish debate from the 1970s to the 1990s. From 1973 to 1978 he was the SNP’s National Press Officer and was director of the SNP’s 1979 campaign in the Scottish Assembly Referendum. He was a SNP councilor on Lothian Regional Council 1975-1978 before serving as SNP Vice Chair successively for Publicity, Policy and Local Government. From the mid 1980s he worked in the voluntary sector initially with Scottish Education and Action for Development (SEAD) and then for the Scottish Council for Voluntary organizations (SCVO). He retired in 2009. He was the founding chair of a Scottish charitable company which today provides support to enable six hundred vulnerable people to live in the community. He has contributed to numerous collections of essays on Scotland’s future, most recently The Modern SNP: from protest to power (ed Hassan, EUP 2009) and Nation in a State (ed Brown, Ten Book Press 2007). Stephen Maxwell died on 25th April 2012, aged 69.