Roundtable: 20th Anniversary of the Quebec Referendum on Independence

Edinburgh academics explore the consequences of the 1995 Quebec referendum on sovereignty twenty years after it occurred.

On 30 October 1995 Quebecers voted in a referendum that offered a possible route to independence from Canada.  The result was very close (50.6% No, 49.4% Yes) and the referendum witnessed record levels of voter turnout. The immediate post-referendum environment saw both the Supreme Court of Canada and the Canadian federal government address the right of Quebecers to secede and the process by which they might do so. This roundtable explores this remarkable referendum, and what it teaches us about public engagement, campaigns for change, constitutional law and public opinion, as well as its consequences for the Canadian state and other independence movements around the world. It ends by exploring lessons for Scotland for those on both sides of the constitutional divide.

The roundtable includes five University of Edinburgh academics each of whom has written a research monograph comparing Scotland and Quebec.

Participants include:

Professor Ailsa Henderson, Hierarchies of Belonging: National Identity and Political Culture in Scotland and Quebec (McGill-Queen's University Press 2007). Professor Henderson is Head of Politics & International Relations

Professor Michael Keating, Nations Against the State: The New Politics of nationalism in Quebec, Catalonia and Scotland (Palgrave 1996). Professor Keating is Director of the Centre on Constitutional Change

Dr James Kennedy, Liberal Nationalisms: Empire, State, and Civil Society in Scotland and Quebec (McGill-Queen's University Press 2015). Dr Kennedy is Director of the Centre of Canadian Studies

Professor Nicola McEwen, Nationalism and the state: Welfare and Identity in Scotland and Quebec (Peter Lang 2006). Professor McEwen is Associate Director of the Centre on Constitutional Change

Professor Stephen Tierney, Constitutional Law and National Pluralism (Oxford University Press 2004). Professor Tierney is Director of the Centre for Constitutional Law

The Roundtable takes place in the Common Room, Chrystal Macmillan Building, on 29th October 2015, 1:00 to 2:00 pm.

*Please arrive for a sandwich lunch at 12:30. Roundtable begins at 1pm*