REUTERS/Dylan Martinez - Posters for and against Scotland's independence fly from a pole in Clydebank, Scotland, September 16, 2014. The referendum on Scottish indepence will take place on September 18, when Scotland will vote whether or not to end the 307-year-old union with the rest of the United Kingdom.

Opinion

Scotland Independence, English Cities and the State of American Federalism

September 17, 2014, Bruce Katz

As Scotland prepares to vote on independence this week, it is easy to dismiss the upheaval “across the pond” as irrelevant to American political institutions and arrangements. Despite our nation’s deep partisan divide and the occasional wild secession talk of demagogic politicians in Texas and elsewhere, an American state leaving the union is not even a remote possibility. Yet the Scottish vote—and, more importantly, the broader devolution debate underway in Britain—does have timely lessons for the United States.

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