Devolution in the UK

By James Mitchell

Devolution in the UK


  • Hardcover
  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-5359-7
  • Pages: 272
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £17.99
  • Published Date: November 2011
  • BIC Category: Society & social sciences / Regional government, POLITICAL SCIENCE / American Government / General, Regional / local / state government, Politics & government, United States of America, USA, Politics


This book explains devolution today in terms of the evolution of past structures of government in the component parts of the United Kingdom. Available in paperback for the first time, it highlights the importance of the English dimension and the role that England's territorial politics played in constitutional debates. Similarities and differences between how the components of the UK were governed are described. It argues that the UK should be understood now, even more than pre-devolution, as a state of distinct unions, each with its own deeply rooted past and trajectory. Using previously unpublished primary material, as well as a wealth of secondary work, the book offers a comprehensive account of the territorial constitution of the UK from the early twentieth century through to the operation of the new devolved system of government.


'An important and necessary book on a vital topic. James Mitchell's expertise and original research produce an authoritative analysis, and one which questions assumed inevitabilities in the UK's past, present and future.'
Richard English, Professor of Politics, Queen's University, Belfast


List of tables
1. Constituting the UK
2. Approaching to Arch-angelic: administrative devolution in Scotland
3. Staggering forward little by little: Administrative devolution in Wales
4. Encouraging conformity, not emphasizing differences: Northern Ireland
5. A chaos of areas and bodies: The English dimension
6. The settled will of the Scottish people
7. Devolution is a process: Wales
8. In search of legitimacy: Northern Ireland since 1972
9. The English Question
10. Ever looser union
Bibliography and sources


James Mitchell is Professor of Politics in the Department of Government at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.

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