Conference workshops

Is independence an irrelevance?

Climate change doesn’t respect national boundaries, so is independence an irrelevance? When hit by weather of mass destruction, will it matter if Scotland or Ireland is an independent nation or part of the UK? As an alternative to nationalism and unionism, can we make localisation and decentralisation relevant, with the aim of promoting sustainability and greener communities (e.g.Transition Towns)?

 Notions of the nation state

The Green tradition has always supported localism and decentralisation, but rejected nationalist notions of the nation state. How do Greens respond to new regionalist and nationalist movements across Europe? How can we ensure that efforts to redraw the internal borders of Europe are based on democracy and selfdetermination rather than xenophobia? What can we learn from the Irish referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, the Austrian General Election, and the credit crunch?

 Movement and migration

How does movement and migration affect democracy? What fault lines does it reveal in our institutions and our understandings of democracy? Can you have a democracy without the demos? How do we sell the Green position on immigration and asylum? Can we convince people to vote for responsible and ethical policies rather than the populist position?

 Is national identity important?

What makes us Scottish, British, European? With increasing globalisation, interests, culture, food, fashion, and relationships are no longer tied to one’s physical location so is national identity important anymore? Are political maps with carefully defined borders losing relevance to more abstract maps with fluid boundaries based on cultural ideas and attitudes?

 

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