Should We Stay or Should We Go? A Tale of Five Referendums


Join Dr Coree Brown Swan to explore how referendums have shaped and continue to shape politics in Scotland and the UK. This interactive workshop will take participants on a journey through public votes on Europe, devolution and independence, engaging campaign posters and other visual materials available from the Scottish Political Archive.

This workshop will present a tale of five referendums (on European Communities membership in 1975, devolution in 1979 and 1999, independence in 2014 and Brexit in 2016) and go onto to explore the impact of these referendums on British and Scottish political dynamics. The workshop will draw on the rich visual materials available from the Scottish Political Archive, including posters, pamphlets and leaflets. Participants will be encouraged to get hands-on with materials – serving as a mini-introduction to qualitative research methods and assessing visual presentation, framing and messaging. We will also explore the prospect of future referendums – assessing the value of a second referendum on the UK’s membership in the EU and the prospects of indyref2.

What to bring

  • All other materials and stimulus will be provided.


Dr Coree Brown Swan

Coree Brown Swan is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre on Constitutional Change at the University of Edinburgh. She completed her PhD in Politics, entitled The Art of the Possible: Framing Self-government in Scotland and Flanders in 2017.