Independence: a nation's right to effective government by its people or for its people
Arguing for Independence by Stephen Maxwell
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.