Scottish Affairs (77) pp 28-53

The constitutional reform programme pursued by the Labour Government following the 1997 General Election fundamentally recast territorial politics and administration in the United Kingdom. The introduction of devolved institutions across the UK challenged the already somewhat over-stated and loosely defined myth of the ‘unitary state paradigm’ and reinvigorated debates regarding the extent to which the UK could be characterised as a ‘union state’, ‘quasi-federal state’ or ‘state of unions’ (Bradbury 2006; Bogdanor 2003; Mitchell 2009). The legislative scheme for devolution introduced a significant degree of asymmetry reflecting the contrasting pre-devolution contexts in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.