It was a fitting venue for a conference on Scottish Nationalism: Parliament Hall, where the Scottish Parliament convened during the plague in Edinburgh from 1645-1646. Four speakers—all preeminent scholars of nationalism, and one of constitutional law—came to a well organized event by the St Andrews Foreign Affairs Society.
On the roster: Professor Michael Keating, from the Universities of Aberdeen and Edinburgh; Professor David McCrone, professor and co-founder of the University of Edinburgh’s Institute of of Governance; Professor Monstserrat Guibernau, from Queen Mary University of London; and Professor Tom Mullen, Professor of Law at the University of Glasgow.
Speaking on a topic which easily becomes embroiled by chauvinistic or biased rhetoric, their presentations and corresponding Q&A sessions were highly informative and even-handed. Sarah Gimont, the conference coordinator for SAFAC 2013, said, “After the success of last year’s conference on the Arab Spring it was incredibly important to FAS to maintain the quality of the event and I believe we did just that.” Though it could have seen better attendance, the quality of the lecturers and the professionalism of the small event did not go unappreciated. In what will be a four-part series, Angus West analyzes the content of the speakers’ presentations.