Land for the Common Good: Nationalism, Democracy, and Land in Edinburgh Scotland


Jackie Salazar

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Throughout Scotland's past, common land has served as the vertebrae of community life. Today, these common assets are at stake. In Edinburgh the City Council is attempting to sell off its Common Good land. Citizens have formed community groups to save these distinctively Scottish aspects of them. This is indicative of two things. First, these communities have begun to organize in a grassroots fashion, reviving a long history of self-determinant, communitarian political activity. These citizens are recognizing a need for the revitalization of traditional communal values, in the beginning of the post-devolution era. Second, devolution has presented the opportunity for Scots to take back Scotland, as a nationwide project in the wake of globalization, and consequently Scotland is experiencing a strong wave of nationalism. Nationalism has manifested itself in the grassroots community organizing that seeks to defend Scottish heritage in Common Good assets. This urban, more modern nationalism is different from its rural predecessors. Instead of having divisive qualities, it is inclusive in its recognition of the need for community building in order to affect change and revitalize democracy for the Scottish people in this important period of transformation for Scotland's society and government.


Peter Dreier




The Paul K. & Evalyn E. Cook Richter Trusts - International Fellowship

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