Security in a Small Nation: Scotland, Democracy, Politics

Security in a Small Nation: Scotland, Democracy, Politics Andrew W. Neal (ed.)
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The 2014 Referendum on Scottish independence sparked debate on every dimension of modern statehood. Levels of public interest and engagement were unprecedented, as demonstrated by record-breaking voter turnout. Yet aside from Trident, the issue of security was relatively neglected in the campaigns, and there remains a lack of literature on the topic. In this volume Andrew Neal has collated a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives on security and constitutional change in Scotland and the UK, including writing from experts in foreign policy analysis, intelligence studies, parliamentary studies, and journalism.

Security in a Small Nation provides an illuminating analysis of the politics of security. Its authors reflect on a number of related issues including international comparisons, alliances, regional cooperation, terrorism, intelligence sharing, democratic oversight, and media coverage. It has a particular focus on what security means for small states and democratic politics.

The book draws on current debates about the extent of intelligence powers and their implications for accountability, privacy, and human rights. It examines the foreign and security policy of other small states through the prism of Scottish independence, providing unique insight into the bureaucratic and political processes associated with multi-level security governance. These contributions provide a detailed picture of the changing landscape of security, including the role of diverse and decentralised agencies, and new security interdependencies within and between states.

The analysis presented in this book will inform ongoing constitutional debates in the UK and the study of other secessionist movements around the world. Security in a Small Nation is essential reading for any follower of UK and Scottish politics, and those with an interest in security and nationhood on a global scale.

The University of Edinburgh has generously contributed towards the publication of this volume.


Security in a Small Nation: Scotland, Democracy, Politics
Andrew W. Neal (ed.) | March 2017
250 | colour | 6.14" x 9.21" (234 x 156 mm)
Open Reports Series, vol. 4 | ISSN: 2399-6668 (Print); 2399-6676 (Online)
ISBN Paperback: 9781783742684
ISBN Hardback: 9781783742691
ISBN Digital (PDF): 9781783742707
ISBN Digital ebook (epub): 9781783742714
ISBN Digital ebook (mobi): 9781783742721
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0078
BIC subject codes: JP (Politics and government), JPRB (Regional government policies), JPSL (Geopolitics); BISAC: POL012000 (Political Science: Security - National & International)


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Acknowledgements
Notes on Contributors

Introduction
Andrew W. Neal
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1. Perspectives on Small State Security in the Scottish Independence Debate
Juliet Kaarbo and Daniel Kenealy
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2. Do Small States Need ‘Alliance Shelter’? Scotland and the Nordic Nations
Baldur Thorhallsson and Alyson J. K. Bailes
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3. Security, Privacy and Oversight
Charles D. Raab
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4. Parliamentary Oversight of Intelligence Agencies: Lessons from Westminster
Hugh Bochel and Andrew Defty
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5. Scotland and the Politics of Intelligence Accountability
Colin Atkinson, Nick Brooke and Brian Harris
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6. ‘Hardly a Moment’s Discussion’? Intelligence and the Scottish Referendum
Sandy Hardie
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7. Press Scrutiny and the Proposals for Security and Intelligence in an Independent Scotland
Eamonn P. O’Neill
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8. To Speak Security or Not to Speak Security? Responsibility and Deference in the Scottish Independence Debate
Andrew W. Neal
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Concluding Remarks: The Narrative of Security and Pathways of Transition
Thierry Balzacq
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Colin Atkinson is a research fellow at the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research (SCCJR) at the University of Glasgow. His research interests focus mainly upon the intersection of crime, policing, intelligence and security, particularly as these issues relate to terrorism and organised crime. Colin has a professional background in intelligence analysis and counter-terrorism. He hold degrees from the University of Glasgow, the University of Strathclyde and the University of St Andrews.

Alyson J. K. Bailes was a full-time Visiting Professor at the University of Iceland from 2007 to 2016 and taught at several universities in Europe, including the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium. She previously served in the British Diplomatic Service for thirty-three years. Bailes was the United Kingdom Ambassador to Finland from 2000 to 2002, Political Director of the Western European Union from 1997 to 2000 and Director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) from 2002 to 2007. Bailes published extensively on European defence, arms control, Arctic security, small states and the Nordic states’ foreign policies and edited several books on these subjects. Bailes passed away in April 2016.

Thierry Balzacq is Francqui Research Chair (the most prestigious academic title awarded in Belgium) and Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He was the Scientific Director of the Institute for Strategic Research (IRSEM), the French Ministry of Defense’s research center (2014–2016). A former Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard, Balzacq held a Honorary Professorial Fellowship at the University of Edinburgh. In 2015, he was awarded a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Diplomacy and International Security for his world-leading research. He is author/editor of over twelve books in English and French.

Hugh Bochel is Professor of Public Policy at the University of Lincoln. He has wide-ranging interests in British politics and public policy. He is co-author, with Andrew Defty and Jane Kirkpatrick, of Watching the Watchers: Parliament and the Intelligence Services (2014).

Nick Brooke is a Teaching Fellow in the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St Andrews, where he completed his Masters and PhD. Nick teaches at undergraduate and Masters level on topics such as terrorism, nationalism and violence in deeply-divided societies. His research interests include nationalism and terrorism, the relationship between violent and non-violent forms of political protest, the depiction of terrorism and politics in popular culture and the impact of nationalism on British politics.

Andrew Defty is Reader in Politics at the University of Lincoln. He has written widely on parliament and the intelligence services. He is co-author, with Hugh Bochel and Jane Kirkpatrick, of Watching the Watchers: Parliament and the Intelligence Services (2014).

Sandy Hardie was a career member of the Diplomatic Service (1973–2001). He later (2005–2012) worked on security sector reform with African and other governments. In the Scottish referendum campaign (2013–2014), he supported Better Together as an adviser on national security issues.

Brian Harris is a criminal psychologist with a background from the policing, military and government sectors of countering terrorism. His experience stems from operations, organisational planning and industry resilience against acts of terrorism. He now conducts research into terrorism and its societal impact, and he specialises on terrorism and the aviation industry. He has over twenty years’ operational experience in this field. Brian holds an MBA (distinction) and an Honours Grade BSc in Criminology and Psychology. He is a visiting lecturer at Napier University and is currently finalising his PhD at the University of St Andrews.

Juliet Kaarbo is Professor of International Relations with a Chair in Foreign Policy at the University of Edinburgh. She is founding co-director of Edinburgh’s Centre for Security Research. Her research focuses on political psychology, leadership and decision making, group dynamics, foreign policy analysis and theory, parliamentary political systems, and national roles, and her work has appeared in journals such as International Studies Quarterly, European Journal of International Relations, International Studies Review, and Political Psychology.

Daniel Kenealy is a lecturer based at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Social and Political Science, where he researches and teaches British government and foreign policy. His work has been published in journals such as European Security, Journal of European Integration, West European Politics, and Millennium.

Andrew W. Neal is a senior lecturer in politics and international relations at the University of Edinburgh and co-director of the Centre for Security Research (CeSeR). He is the author of Exceptionalism and the Politics of Counter-Terrorism (2010); co-editor, with Jef Huysmans, Claudia Aradau and Nadine Voelkner, of Critical Security Methods (2014); and co-editor, with Michael Dillon, of Foucault on Politics, Security and War (2008). He was principal investigator of the ESRC seminar series ‘Security in Scotland, with or without constitutional change’ (2013–2015), and is currently finalising a monograph on security politics and professional politicians.

Eamonn O’Neill is an Associate Professor in Journalism at Edinburgh Napier University. He is also an internationally and nationally award-winning investigative journalist. He has authored articles and chapters in recent years related to investigative journalism in theory and practice. He is a regular contributor to BBC Scotland.

Charles Raab is Professorial Fellow at the University of Edinburgh and Director of the Centre for Research into Information, Surveillance and Privacy (CRISP). He co-chairs the Independent Digital Ethics Panel for Policing (IDEPP) and the UK National Police Chiefs’ Council. He has conducted research and published extensively on privacy, data protection, surveillance, and security. He gave evidence to UK parliamentary committees (e.g., Intelligence and Security Committee, 2014), and was the Specialist Adviser to the House of Lords Constitution Committee for their inquiry, Surveillance: Citizens and the State, HL Paper 18, Session 2008–2009.

Baldur Thorhallsson is Head and Professor at the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Iceland. He is also Jean Monnet Chair in European Studies, and Programme and Research Director at the Centre for Small States at the University of Iceland. He established the Centre for Small State Studies in 2002. His research focus is primarily on small state studies, European integration and Iceland’s foreign policy. He has published extensively in international journals, contributed to several academic books and written two books on small states in Europe. He holds a PhD (1999) and MA (1994) in Political Science from the University of Essex in England.


Introduction
Andrew W. Neal
This introduction begins by discussing the meaning and scope of ‘security’ in the context of the national independence of small states. It then summarises the main points of contention over security in the debate about Scottish independence during the 2014 referendum, including issues of intelligence sharing, border control, policing, resilience planning, cybersecurity, and economic security. It considers the security experiences of some other small European countries, and also the implications of developments since 2014, particularly the Brexit vote. The final section discusses the ESRC seminar series from which this book was produced, and the organisation and content of the chapters.

1. Perspectives on Small State Security in the Scottish Independence Debate
Juliet Kaarbo and Daniel Kenealy
During the Scottish independence referendum campaign, considerable attention was paid, by Scotland’s political leaders, its voters, and actors in the international community, to the question of what an independent Scotland’s foreign policy might look like. An independent Scotland would quickly find itself in a world that puts many constraints on states’ international aspirations. But as a sovereign state, Scotland would have the opportunity to shape the role it would play on the world stage. This chapter examines the debate over an independent Scottish foreign policy during the independence campaign. We describe the type of foreign policy that was projected by the Scottish National Party (SNP) Government in Scotland and the reaction to that projection by actors opposed to independence. We argue that the underlying difference in the two sides was the perspective on small state foreign and security policy and that this difference resonates with long-standing academic debates about small states, and their insecurities, in world politics.

2. Do Small States Need ‘Alliance Shelter’? Scotland and the Nordic Nations
Baldur Thorhallsson and Alyson J. K. Bailes
The aim of this chapter is to examine how Scotland as a potential independent state would prosper based on the existing small state literature and lessons of the Nordic states. The chapter argues that, as any other small entity, Scotland, as an independent small state, would need external shelter in multiple dimensions. We have found that four entities — NATO, the EU, the remnant UK, and the US — are best suited to meeting Scotland’s needs for economic, societal, and political shelter including hard and soft security. However, these solutions would incur costs different from, and not necessarily lesser than, those carried by Scotland within the present union. An independent Scotland would have to weigh the cost/benefit balance of full shelter provided by these four entities and consider important opt-outs secured by the Nordic states. The Nordic states themselves cannot provide an alternative for any key dimension of shelter but the lessons of varied Nordic experience, and softer kinds of shelter to be found within Nordic cooperation, could provide valuable lubrication for the transitional process and a supportive pillar for Scotland’s accommodation to independent existence in the world.

3. Security, Privacy and Oversight
Charles D. Raab
This chapter looks at conceptual and practical issues concerning ‘privacy’ and ‘security’ as they affect the oversight of security and intelligence services. It considers these issues in the light of three recent seminal reports in the UK and one in the US. Taking a critical view of the conventional wisdom surrounding the concepts of ‘privacy’ and ‘security’ and of the way the values they represent are thought to be reconcilable, this contribution argues that a better grasp of the relationship between these two areas in theory and practice is an important component of satisfactory oversight of intelligence activities. In addition, the extent to which overseers and other policy actors can keep abreast of technological developments is identified as a problem for the effectiveness of legislation and oversight, requiring changes to existing procedures.

4. Parliamentary Oversight of Intelligence Agencies: Lessons from Westminster
Hugh Bochel and Andrew Defty
While oversight of intelligence agencies can take a number of forms, legislative oversight is often seen as particularly important as it can help ensure agencies’ independence from the executive, maintain public confidence and provide legitimacy for the agencies and their actions. This chapter draws on research on oversight of the intelligence and security agencies by the United Kingdom Parliament to consider possible lessons for legislative oversight in emerging states, and in particular, a potentially independent Scotland. It suggests that the challenges associated with such a development have been largely overlooked, and that careful consideration would need to be given to a number of issues, including the capacity and expertise required for intelligence oversight, in addition to the powers of any oversight body and indeed of Parliament as a whole.

5. Scotland and the Politics of Intelligence Accountability
Colin Atkinson, Nick Brooke and Brian Harris
This chapter explores the politics of intelligence accountability in the context of the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence and the 2015 General Election in the UK. Drawing upon Peter Gill’s model for assessing the effectiveness of security intelligence accountability, it argues that the Scottish Government’s proposals for intelligence accountability in an independent Scotland indicated a vague and conservative intention to maintain similar mechanisms to the existing UK political settlement. By exploring the accountability mechanisms for security intelligence in other jurisdictions, this chapter suggests that shortcomings in the Scottish Government’s proposals could have been addressed by learning lessons and adopting practices and processes from beyond the UK. The aftermath of the referendum — particularly the landslide victory in Scotland for the pro-independence SNP in the 2015 UK General Election — may herald consequences for both intelligence accountability in the UK and any future plan for accountability mechanisms in an independent Scotland. The previously unconsidered prospect of direct SNP representation on the UK Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) — now a reality in the UK — raises the scenario that pro-independence politicians will develop the expertise, capital, and political legitimacy necessary for effective intelligence accountability that were lacking in the pre-referendum political landscape.

6. ‘Hardly a Moment’s Discussion’? Intelligence and the Scottish Referendum
Sandy Hardie
This chapter offers an account of ‘intelligence’ in the Scottish Referendum, the first occasion on which the subject had featured in a British political contest. It documents and assesses the strategic dimension in UK national security, its visibility to voters, the presentation and impact of arguments for and against separate arrangements, and the professional and political constraints on the Yes and No camps. Press coverage emerges as reasonable and fair if largely reactive, while the broadcasters were distinctly cautious, and overall treatment of the cyber threat to an independent Scotland was inadequate. The chapter concludes with a forward look to the likely profile of intelligence in the event of a second referendum.

7. Press Scrutiny and the Proposals for Security and Intelligence in an Independent Scotland
Eamonn P. O’Neill
This chapter examines the scrutiny by the press in Scotland and the wider UK, before, during and after the publication of issues related to the proposals presented in the Scottish Government’s independence White Paper Scotland’s Future in November 2013. It outlines the various categories of media coverage in common usage and examines a selection of coverage in depth. It argues that, with some exceptions, the coverage was narrow and formulaic. It suggests more investigative projects could have widened and deepened the coverage and led to a more informed debate.

8. To Speak Security or Not to Speak Security? Responsibility and Deference in the Scottish Independence Debate
Andrew W. Neal
This chapter is about how and why security was debated or neglected in the Scottish independence referendum campaigns and attendant public discussion. It begins with a summary of the security content of the campaigns in the run up to the vote, arguing that ‘security’ was not entirely absent but not prominent either. The main focus of this chapter is to discuss the political implications of speaking security, using the lens of securitisation theory. It argues that more security talk is not necessarily a good thing, because it may ramp up fear and mobilise security apparatuses. The chapter then considers the implications of staying silent on security, which are not innocent either. This is because historically, the power and authority of the state to declare and define security threats depended on the silent deference of the wider political class. By demonstration, the chapter compares the quietude of security politics in Scotland with the history and transformation of security politics at Westminster.

Concluding Remarks: The Narrative of Security and Pathways of Transition
Thierry Balzacq
This contribution stands as a conclusion to the book, arguing that both the tone and the content of debates over security during the Scottish referendum were mainly underwritten by narratives which sought to harness the ambiguity of security. It postulates that ambiguity yields different outcomes and empowers different actors. In a context of deep uncertainty, such as that of a referendum over independence, the ambiguous nature of security would tend to impose exacting commitments on the revisionist side, since it has to show that the devil we don’t know is better than the devil we know. Hence, perhaps, the hesitancy of the Yes side to prioritise security topics.


This book is the product of a seminar series funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council entitled ‘Security in Scotland, with or without constitutional change’, which ran from 2013-2015 at the University of Edinburgh (grant reference ES/L00139X/1). The Reports from this seminar series can be read and downloaded below: