The Opportunities and Obstacles for a ‘Scottish Approach’ to Race Equality
This blog is based on an article in the Journal of Social Policy. Click here to access the article.
Is there a particular character to race equality in Scotland that is different to elsewhere in the UK? As ever much depends both on how this question is posed – and to whom.
While the primary legislation of public equality duties is set by UK statute, the secondary legislation that facilitates its operation across devolved areas is the responsibility of the Scottish Government. This means that, theoretically, the Scottish Government can go further than England and Wales (where the UK Parliament legislates both for primary legislation and secondary legislation). For example, within existing parameters, Scottish administrations have shown an interest mainstreaming race equality, in ways that lean against UK level disinterest.
Where or not this is about catching up is another question.
One civil servant describing the Scottish Government’s Race Equality Framework launched in 2016, for example, calls it ‘a point in the crossroads’ (Rjil3), part of a moment when something may (rather than has) facilitated divergence. The Race Equality Framework is itself reflective of a type divergence in mood if not yet deed, as a UK wide equality practitioner puts it: