Nation to Nation: Scotland’s Place in the World

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A conversation with Professor Stephen Gethins on his new book, Nation to Nation: Scotland’s Place in the World, which explores Scotland’s ‘foreign policy footprint’.


Throughout history, Scotland has been an actor in European and global affairs, both as part of the UK and as an independent country. As a result, it has developed a significant foreign policy footprint, despite not having a foreign ministry. Today, Scotland stands at a crossroads over its future, largely because of the decision of a majority of voters in England and Wales to back leaving the EU in 2016. The coronavirus pandemic and the recent 2021 Scottish Parliament election results have brought these questions into sharp focus. There is a fundamental division in Scottish politics between those who see Scotland’s place as an independent EU member state and fully part of the international community, and others who think Scotland is best served by remaining part of a larger, more established entity in the UK.

In this webinar, Professor Gethins will set the scene for one of the most important debates and dialogues that Scotland is likely to face for a generation. Combining his knowledge from years of work in the field with insights from political, cultural and academic figures who have been at the heart of foreign policy in Scotland, the UK, Europe and the US, he will explore how Scotland’s unique relationship with the rest of the world has developed over the years and how it manifests itself today.

The webinar will be chaired by Professor Malcolm Chalmers, Deputy Director-General, RUSI.

RUSI Members who are logged in can view a recording of the event below

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Speaker biography

Professor Stephen Gethins is Professor of Practice in International Relations at the University of St Andrews. He served as the Scottish National Party Member of Parliament for North East Fife from 2015 to 2019. During his time in Parliament, Stephen was twice elected to sit on the Foreign Affairs Select Committee. He was also the SNP spokesperson on Europe and International Affairs, and one of the few UK parliamentarians to have worked in EU institutions.

Professor Gethins’ book, Nation to Nation: Scotland’s Place in the World, was published by Luath Press in March 2021.


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