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Experts available to discuss Scottish referendum

September 11, 2014
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Scottish voters will go to the polls Sept. 18 to decide whether to split from the United Kingdom. The University of Michigan has experts who can discuss the political, economic and legal ramifications of the referendum. They include:

History

Kali Israel, associate professor of history, can discuss the historical significance of the referendum. She is currently in Scotland for the vote and is teaching a course on the topic this semester: “Modern Scotland: The road to and from the independence referendum.” Contact: kisrael@umich.edu

Israel says, “No matter what happens, the status quo isn’t an option and it’s certain that the vote next Thursday will bring change. Both the ‘Yes’ (pro-independence) and ‘No’ (pro-UK) campaigns are in high gear, and one result is that the polls are extremely volatile. It’s also certain that there is a great deal of misunderstanding about the referendum outside Scotland, including within the rest of the UK, especially in trying to slot it into categories of nationalist (or even separatist, ethnic) politics. But there are also plenty of real questions about whether any promises, from the ‘Yes’ or the ‘No’ camps, can be counted on. But that’s part of what I mean when I say that the status quo isn’t a possibility: If the ‘Yes’ vote does not win, the flurry of promises which are being made at the last minute on the part of the ‘No’ campaign are going to be under a lot of pressure.”

Economics

Linda Y.C. Lim is a professor of strategy at the Ross School of Business whose expertise includes political economy and business-government relations. She can discuss the economic ramifications of independence. Contact: (734) 763-0290, lylim@umich.edu

Law

Daniel Halberstam is a professor of law and director of the European Legal Studies Program. He can address the legal issues relating to an independent Scotland’s future in the European Union. Contact: (734) 763-4408, dhalber@umich.edu

Steven R. Ratner, professor of law, can take questions about Scotland’s right to secede and the implications for relations with other states. Contact: (734) 647-4985, sratner@umich.edu

Politics

Ken Kollman, professor of political science, can discuss the British political climate, parties involved in the referendum and the vote’s implications for the EU. Contact: 734-936-0062, kkollman@umich.edu

Jenna Bednar, associate professor of political science, can draw comparisons with other secession movements and what a ‘no’ vote would imply for future relations within the UK. Contact: 734-615-5165, jbednar@umich.edu 

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