About DA – Scotland

Democratic Audit – Scotland was launched in September 2015, and aims to measure the health, strength and depth of Scottish democracy at a time of great change. Based in Glasgow, and run in collaboration between the London School of Economics, and academics at the Universities of Stirling and Edinburgh.

It is run by Managing Editor Sean Kippin, and co-Directed by Professor Paul Cairney and Dr. Meryl Kenny. Democratic Audit UK, the parent organisation, is directed by Professor Patrick Dunleavy, and co-Directed by Dr Jonathan Hopkin (both of the LSE).

Democratic Audit – Scotland, seeks to apply the Democratic Audit framework to Scottish democracy in the wake of the process triggered by the September 2014 referendum on Scottish independence.

  • Emergence of dominant party system
  • 2016 Scottish Parliament elections
  • Character and tone of independence movement going forward
  • What Scotland thinks and election/opinion research
  • Under-representation of centre-right in party system
  • Different electoral systems in use
  • Potential of SNP Westminster landslide to distort Scottish interests in UK Government
  • Distinctive operation of Scottish legal system
  • Rights and civil liberties in Scotland – link with Human Rights Act
  • Asylum and refugees
  • The future of Scotland in Europe
  • The development of pathways towards double majority federalism
  • Creation of imbalanced, incremental, and unsystematic federal system
  • Implications of English votes for English laws for Scotland
  • Scottish local government oversight
  • Ombudsman – citizens redress
  • Scottish parliament committees as they were and now with SNP majorities
  • Oversight of public services and strength of ministerial accountability
  • Civic nationalism and culture
  • Religion and sectarianism
  • Media culture and plurality
  • Religion and sectarianism
  • Aristocracy and feudal hangovers – pressure for  land reform
  • Gender representation in Scotland
  • Economic focus of independence debate
  • Increase in political participation post referendum
  • Main party’s internal democracy
  • Socioeconomic inequality
  • Citizen information for Scottish citizens
  • Civil service neutrality

It will draw on the full range of academic expert opinion, seeking to amplify high quality research, while taking advantage of the existing academic and campaigner networks in Scotland (such as the Centre on Constitutional Change and Electoral Reform Society Scotland), which taken on a higher profile, influence, and visibility since the Scottish independence referendum.