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Title: Apprehending (Scottish) politics : an anthropological study of local politics and Conservative Party activism in Dumfries and Galloway, 2001-2003
Author: Smith, Alexander Thomas Telford
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2006
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This thesis is an ethnographic study of the impact of devolution on statecraft, political activism and ‘change’, carried out in Dumfries and Galloway in the rural southwest of Scotland. Drawing on eighteen months of fieldwork that began shortly after the Foot and Mouth epidemic of 2001, this study concentrates on two ‘events’ that helped focus the efforts of local activists as they organised politically in the aftermath of this crisis. The first was a public inquiry held in Dumfries by the Boundary Commission for Scotland on 14-15 November 2002, which was convened in response to strong local opposition to controversial proposals to re-draw electoral boundaries in Dumfries and Galloway as required by the Scotland Act 1998. Virtually alone in supporting the Boundary Commission proposals, local Tories were amongst the many dozens of local activists for whom this inquiry became a focal point for action during 2002. This inquiry provides a fascinating account of how local activists grappled with what often seemed a constantly changing political landscape in which differentiating the ‘new’ and the ‘different’ from what was once ‘business as usual’ could not be taken for granted. The second event was the Scottish Parliament and local Council elections held on 1 May 2003. For several months, preparations for these elections dominated the agenda of local Tories, who generally believed that the Conservative Party was engaged in a struggle for electoral survival in the ‘new’ political landscape of post-devolution Scotland.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available