Student Notes

This chapter tackles the concept of power. The sociologist Jonathan Hearn has said: ‘power is not just one of the things that social scientists study, but the central thing … (w)hat we normally encounter in social life, beginning with local social settings and all the way up to international relations, is a variegated multiplicity of centres of power, with their powers waxing and waning, in a web of relations with shifting combinations and alliances’ (Hearn, 2013).

So who runs Scotland? This chapter:

  • focuses on the changing patterns of ownership and control of the economy over the last century or so.
  • addresses the ‘land question’, who owns Scotland, and how, if at all, that has changed over a similar time-period.
  • asks how ‘political’ power, in the broadest sense, has sought to reflect or stand up to economic interests.