The Political Studies Association (PSA) hosted a lively and informed Q and A session at their recent annual conference in Glasgow involving Alasdair Allan, the Minister for International Development and Europe for the Scottish Government and politics students from the University of Strathclyde. The session was introduced by Dr Andy Mycock who welcomed the Minister to the conference by noting that the audience comprised of many young people who had been allowed to vote in the Scottish independence referendum in 2014 at the age of 16 and 17 years of age. They were, he suggested, a uniquely politically-engaged generation who were keen to discuss politics in the wake of Brexit and with a second independence referendum to come.
Mr Allan, who has been elected as the Member of the Scottish Parliament for Na h-Eileanan an Iar (formerly the Western Isles) since 2007, provided an illuminating talk on contemporary Scottish politics and the place of Scotland in the post-Brexit world. The Q and A session was chaired by Kenny Stevenson, a doctoral student at the University of Strathclyde whose research explores immigration policy in the age of globalisation questions our notions of democracy. Questions covered a wide range of issues, including Scotland’s relationship with the EU and rest of the UK in the wake of Brexit, Scottish domestic party politics, and new forms of political participation. Mr Allan concluded by noting that young people are central to political debate in Scotland and the PSA should be congratulated for hosting the event.