From Privileged to Thwarted Stakeholders: Polish Migrants’ Perceptions of the Scottish Independence Referendum 2014 and the UK General Election in 2015

Derek McGhee, Emilia Pietka-Nykaza

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Abstract

Scotland in 2014 and 2015 provides an ideal context for examining EU citizenship political rights as established in the Maastricht Treaty of 1993 from the perspective of Polish migrants resident in Scotland. We argue that the contrast between Polish migrants’ full enfranchisement in the Scottish Independence Referendum in 2014 to then being disenfranchised from the UK General Election in 2015 is a significant site for observing how EU laws interact with state-centric and also ‘post-national’ notions of citizenship. Our participants’ experiences of voting in the Referendum and subsequently not being able to vote in the General Election were articulated in the following terms: (a) the justification of their political rights in terms of their stake and contribution in the UK; (b) their frustrations with regards to anti-migration rhetoric and the limitations of European citizenship; and for some, (c) their plans of apply for British citizenship in the context of EU membership uncertainty.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)899-913
Number of pages15
JournalCitizenship Studies
Volume20
Issue number6-7
Early online date2 Jun 2016
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Jun 2016

Keywords

  • Polish migrants
  • Scottish Independence Referendum
  • citizenship

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