Britain's Decision: Facts and Impartial Analysis for the EU Referendum

The book is edited by Ray Perman, Director of the David Hume Institute and Charlie Jeffery, Professor of Politics at the University of Edinburgh and a Fellow of the Centre on Constitutional Change. It also contains chapters from Professors Michael Keating, Laura Cram, David Bell, Nicola McEwen and Aileen McHarg, among others. It also has a contribution from Andrew Wilson & Kevin Pringle, making the case to remain and from Brian Monteith, putting the case for Brexit.

The David Hume Institute has teamed up with The Hunter Foundation and the Centre on Constitutional Change to produce a free ebook to answer voters’ questions before the EU referendum on June 23. Britain’s Decision – Facts and Impartial Analysis, involves scholars socialising in European affairs from leading universities. They have identified 19 key questions that underpin the debate and they offer objective, independent analysis of these issues. The book is also available as a free download from www.centreonconstitutionalchange.ac.uk and The Hunter Foundation

Elitist Scotland

Rt. Hon. Alan Milburn Chair, Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission

This report looks at the social background of the people who run Scotland, following up an earlier study carried out by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission looking at this issue for Great Britain as a whole. In partnership with the David Hume Institute and with the support of postgraduate researchers at the University of Edinburgh, we have examined the background of almost 850 leaders in politics, business, the media and other areas of public life in Scotland.

Alan Peacock dissenting…

In the year of the 30th anniversary of the David Hume Institute, it is a deep disappointment to be celebrating without the company of its founder, Sir Alan Peacock, who died last year at the age of 92. On the evidence of the friends and former colleagues who have contributed essays in his memory to new book about his life and work, he would have added culture and humour as well as intellectual stimulation to the occasion.

In the paper he wrote in 1983 proposing the foundation of a new institute he acknowledged that there was no shortage of such bodies already – both inside and outside universities. The gap in the market, he believed, was for an institute which would be independent of government funding, located outside London so that it could take a distinctively non-metropolitan view and unafraid to challenge established thinking.

In proposing that the new institute have ‘a firm intellectual foundation in the study of the links between economics and the law,’ he was not seeking to limit its scope. Indeed, as this book makes clear, his own interests were extraordinarily wide. He was a difficult man to categorise. He started his adult life as a Liberal, but quickly lost sympathy with the Liberal Party. He was an adviser to Labour ministers, but scathing about those who were unwilling to modify their views in the light of the evidence.

He was chosen by Mrs Margaret Thatcher to chair a committee looking at the financing of the BBC, but came back with an answer she neither expected nor wanted. Coming up with the ‘wrong answer’ was something of a Peacock specialism. He characterised the criticism of the cost of one study he undertook as ‘the survey would have been cheap at the price if it had come to the right conclusion.’ He refused to be a ‘gun for hire.’

He chose to name the institute after David Hume because he hoped it would live up to the principles of the great Enlightenment philosopher in ‘proportioning its beliefs to the evidence.’ Thirty years later we aspire still to live up to that principle and also to the standards of Alan Peacock.

The book, Alan Peacock dissenting… contains essays on Alan Peacock’s life and his work as an economist in government, on the constitution, civil justice, the arts, heritage and broadcasting and his role as an academic leader and mentor. A paperback edition is available to members of the David Hume Institute for the special low price of £4 (inc. p&p).

An electronic version can be downloaded free of charge here.

A Kindle version is available from Amazon.

Second Chamber Scottish Parliament

Hector L. MacQueen

This paper is a revised and updated version of an earlier one prompted by an interview with the then Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, Sir David Steel (now Lord Steel), published in The Scotsman on Boxing Day 2002. He indicated that he had, “in the light of experience”, come to favour having a form of second chamber in the Scottish Parliament.

Constructing Future Scotland: Rethinking Infrastructure Policies.

Professor Duncan Maclennan

Scotland has a good record in the way it procures big infrastructure projects – but that does not mean it can’t be improved. The long approval, planning and procurement cycle can mean that projects get bunched – leading to feast and famine and making it difficult for companies to plan and build up a skilled workforce.

Internationalising Business

Alf Young

Scotland likely to miss export target, but could learn lessons from the international success of Scotch Whisky

The Scottish Government has virtually no chance of meeting its target to increase exports by 50% by 2017, given the rate of progress to date, the weakening in 2013 and 2014 of Scotch Whisky exports already reported by the industry and the multiplying adverse and unpredictable headwinds blowing through the global economy.

This is one of the findings of a study on internationalising Scotland’s industry written by Alf Young, Visiting Professor, International Public Policy Institute, University of Strathclyde. The paper was commissioned by the David Hume Institute, sponsored by the Scotch Whisky Association, although the views expressed are Professor Young’s.

Inequality: What can the Scottish Government do

David Bell and David Eiser

Inequality is now an issue of global interest. It is widely believed that inequality is increasing and that it is both a bad thing in itself and presents an obstacle to economic growth. This topic also played a key role in the election campaign. The Scottish Government has argued that additional fiscal powers will present it with the opportunity to slow down, or perhaps reverse, recent trends in inequality. This lecture explored the potential for the Scottish Government to influence patterns of inequality in Scotland, drawing on the worldwide debates on this issue. It presented new evidence on trends in inequality in Scotland and also place Scotland’s policy options within the context of the differing approaches to dealing with inequality that are emerging.

Inequality in Scotland: New Perspectives

David Bell, David Eiser, Michael McGoldrickDivision of Economics Stirling Management School University of Stirling

New research commissioned by the DHI by David Bell, David Eiser and Michael McGoldrick of Stirling University Management School which presents evidence on inequality in Scotland. It uses data from the last three decades to identify key economic and social trends that have influenced inequality.

Scotland’s Decision – 16 Questions to to think about for the referendum on 18 September

Charlie Jeffery, Ray Perman 2014

Should Scotland be an independent country? Choosing an answer to that question, as Scotland’s electors will on 18 September 2014, is a choice of huge significance. So how will we come to a decision? Many voters know more or less by instinct. Plenty of us are convinced that being independent is right and good for our country and not being independent is wrong. Plenty of others believe the opposite: that what is right and good is staying as part of the UK.

But there are more still – probably the biggest single group – who don’t have such conviction either way and are puzzling their way through what voting Yes or No might mean for them and their families. This book is for them. We have taken sixteen questions, which seem to us to be central to the referendum debate, and asked impartial experts to look at them. We do not aim to provide definitive answers – and we certainly do not intend to tell anyone how to vote – but rather to enable readers to better judge the claims that are made by either side.

Research Paper 3/2013 Belgian social federalism: Quo Vadis ?

Research Paper 3/2013 Belgian social federalism: Quo Vadis ?

Bea Cantillon

2013

ESRC Conversation 2 – “Delivering Social Security: Options in Scotland’s Constitutional Debate” On 18 February 2013 the DHI held a seminar for the second of the four ‘conversations’ on topics related to constitutional change in Scotland. This second topic relates to how we guarantee welfare through social security and other measures and is one of the most disputed issues in Scottish and UK politics. Papers have been prepared by Professor David Bell, University of Stirling, Professor Bea Cantillon, University of Antwerp, Professor Derek Birrell, University of Ulster, Dr. Nicola McEwen, University of Edinburgh, Professor Ailsa McKay, Glasgow Caledonian University and Jeremy Purvis of the Devo-Plus Group.

Research Paper 16/2013 The Current Legal and Institutional Arrangements for the Enforcement of Competition Law in the UK, and the Options and Issues Arising from Devolution

Research Paper 16/2013 The Current Legal and Institutional Arrangements for the Enforcement of Competition Law in the UK, and the Options and Issues Arising from Devolution

David Saunders

2013

ESRC Conversation 4 – “Competition Policy and Regulation:in the context of Constitutional Change in Scotland” On the 16 May 2013 the Institute held the fourth and final ESRC-supported ‘conversation’ – this time on competition policy and regulation (of utilities, transport, etc.). Professor Martin Cave, Visiting Professor at Imperial College Business School was our lead speaker and along with Jon Stern provided an over-arching background paper. We again commissioned a number of papers from the following authors: Professor Martin Cave (Visiting Professor at the Imperial College Business School and Vice Chair of the Competition Commission) Professor David Simpson (former DHI Trustee and former board member of WICS); Iain Osborne (remarkably experienced senior regulator – across five different sectors, and at EU, UK and devolved levels); Luis Correia da Silva (Managing Director OXERA); Dirk Janssen (the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets); Jon Stern (City University and co-author with Martin Cave); and David Saunders (Chief Executive of the UK Competition Commission).

Research Paper 15/2013 Discussion Document on “Competition Policy and Regulation”

Research Paper 15/2013 Discussion Document on “Competition Policy and Regulation”

Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets

2013

ESRC Conversation 4 – “Competition Policy and Regulation:in the context of Constitutional Change in Scotland” On the 16 May 2013 the Institute held the fourth and final ESRC-supported ‘conversation’ – this time on competition policy and regulation (of utilities, transport, etc.). Professor Martin Cave, Visiting Professor at Imperial College Business School was our lead speaker and along with Jon Stern provided an over-arching background paper. We again commissioned a number of papers from the following authors: Professor Martin Cave (Visiting Professor at the Imperial College Business School and Vice Chair of the Competition Commission) Professor David Simpson (former DHI Trustee and former board member of WICS); Iain Osborne (remarkably experienced senior regulator – across five different sectors, and at EU, UK and devolved levels); Luis Correia da Silva (Managing Director OXERA); Dirk Janssen (the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets); Jon Stern (City University and co-author with Martin Cave); and David Saunders (Chief Executive of the UK Competition Commission).

Research Paper 14/2013 Regulation and Competition in the Water Industry in Scotland: Some Lessons from Experience

Research Paper 14/2013 Regulation and Competition in the Water Industry in Scotland: Some Lessons from Experience

David Simpson

2013

ESRC Conversation 4 – “Competition Policy and Regulation:in the context of Constitutional Change in Scotland” On the 16 May 2013 the Institute held the fourth and final ESRC-supported ‘conversation’ – this time on competition policy and regulation (of utilities, transport, etc.). Professor Martin Cave, Visiting Professor at Imperial College Business School was our lead speaker and along with Jon Stern provided an over-arching background paper. We again commissioned a number of papers from the following authors: Professor Martin Cave (Visiting Professor at the Imperial College Business School and Vice Chair of the Competition Commission) Professor David Simpson (former DHI Trustee and former board member of WICS); Iain Osborne (remarkably experienced senior regulator – across five different sectors, and at EU, UK and devolved levels); Luis Correia da Silva (Managing Director OXERA); Dirk Janssen (the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets); Jon Stern (City University and co-author with Martin Cave); and David Saunders (Chief Executive of the UK Competition Commission).

Research Paper 13/2013 The Future of Economic Regulation in Scotland: an outsider’s view

Research Paper 13/2013 The Future of Economic Regulation in Scotland: an outsider’s view

Luis Correia da Silva

2013

ESRC Conversation 4 – “Competition Policy and Regulation:in the context of Constitutional Change in Scotland” On the 16 May 2013 the Institute held the fourth and final ESRC-supported ‘conversation’ – this time on competition policy and regulation (of utilities, transport, etc.). Professor Martin Cave, Visiting Professor at Imperial College Business School was our lead speaker and along with Jon Stern provided an over-arching background paper. We again commissioned a number of papers from the following authors: Professor Martin Cave (Visiting Professor at the Imperial College Business School and Vice Chair of the Competition Commission) Professor David Simpson (former DHI Trustee and former board member of WICS); Iain Osborne (remarkably experienced senior regulator – across five different sectors, and at EU, UK and devolved levels); Luis Correia da Silva (Managing Director OXERA); Dirk Janssen (the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets); Jon Stern (City University and co-author with Martin Cave); and David Saunders (Chief Executive of the UK Competition Commission).

Research Paper 12/2013 Utility Regulation in a Smaller System

Research Paper 12/2013 Utility Regulation in a Smaller System

Iain Osborne

2013

ESRC Conversation 4 – “Competition Policy and Regulation:in the context of Constitutional Change in Scotland” On the 16 May 2013 the Institute held the fourth and final ESRC-supported ‘conversation’ – this time on competition policy and regulation (of utilities, transport, etc.). Professor Martin Cave, Visiting Professor at Imperial College Business School was our lead speaker and along with Jon Stern provided an over-arching background paper. We again commissioned a number of papers from the following authors: Professor Martin Cave (Visiting Professor at the Imperial College Business School and Vice Chair of the Competition Commission) Professor David Simpson (former DHI Trustee and former board member of WICS); Iain Osborne (remarkably experienced senior regulator – across five different sectors, and at EU, UK and devolved levels); Luis Correia da Silva (Managing Director OXERA); Dirk Janssen (the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets); Jon Stern (City University and co-author with Martin Cave); and David Saunders (Chief Executive of the UK Competition Commission).

Research Paper 11/2013. Competition and Regulatory Policy and Institutional Design for Scotland

“Research Paper 11/2013. Competition and Regulatory Policy and Institutional Design for Scotland”

Martin Cave, Jon Stern

2013

ESRC Conversation 4 – “Competition Policy and Regulation:in the context of Constitutional Change in Scotland” On the 16 May 2013 the Institute held the fourth and final ESRC-supported ‘conversation’ – this time on competition policy and regulation (of utilities, transport, etc.). Professor Martin Cave, Visiting Professor at Imperial College Business School was our lead speaker and along with Jon Stern provided an over-arching background paper. We again commissioned a number of papers from the following authors: Professor Martin Cave (Visiting Professor at the Imperial College Business School and Vice Chair of the Competition Commission) Professor David Simpson (former DHI Trustee and former board member of WICS); Iain Osborne (remarkably experienced senior regulator – across five different sectors, and at EU, UK and devolved levels); Luis Correia da Silva (Managing Director OXERA); Dirk Janssen (the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets); Jon Stern (City University and co-author with Martin Cave); and David Saunders (Chief Executive of the UK Competition Commission).

Research Paper 10/2013 Energy Policy and Consumers in Scotland

Research Paper 10/2013 Energy Policy and Consumers in Scotland

Trisha McAuley, Andrew Faulk

2013

ESRC Conversation 3– ”The Scottish Energy Sector: in the Context of Possible Constitutional Change in Scotland”. On 7 May 2013 the DHI held a seminar for the third of the four ‘conversations’ on topics related to constitutional change in Scotland. This third topic relates to the energy sector and we have commissioned a number of papers. Professor Mark Schaffer and colleagues at Heriot Watt cover the rapidly evolving and complex external/global energy environment and its implications for Scotland; Professors John Paterson and Greg Gordon from Aberdeen considers the oil-related issues; and Professor Kim Swales and colleagues from Strathclyde University examine the electricity issue. We also have a paper by Trisha McAuley (Director, Consumer Focus) on consumer related issues and an over-arching paper prepared by SCDI.

Research Paper 9/2013 DHI/SCDI Energy and Constitutional Change Conversation – Oil and Gas

Research Paper 9/2013 DHI/SCDI Energy and Constitutional Change Conversation – Oil and Gas

John Paterson, Greg Gordon

2013

ESRC Conversation 3– “The Scottish Energy Sector: in the Context of Possible Constitutional Change in Scotland”. On 7 May 2013 the DHI held a seminar for the third of the four ‘conversations’ on topics related to constitutional change in Scotland. This third topic relates to the energy sector and we have commissioned a number of papers. Professor Mark Schaffer and colleagues at Heriot Watt cover the rapidly evolving and complex external/global energy environment and its implications for Scotland; Professors John Paterson and Greg Gordon from Aberdeen considers the oil-related issues; and Professor Kim Swales and colleagues from Strathclyde University examine the electricity issue. We also have a paper by Trisha McAuley (Director, Consumer Focus) on consumer related issues and an over-arching paper prepared by SCDI.