'Transitions in Scottish Policy: Embracing complexity to support efficacious implementation of progress governance models' with Adele Lidderdale

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Adele Lidderdale

Following on from the successful our islands, our future campaign led island local authorities were instrumental in stimulating the passing of the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018 (the Act) enshrining the rights of islanders in Scots law. This has resulted in a variety of provisions for island proofing policy being created by public bodies in Scotland and a framework for delivery that is the Scottish National Islands Plan (the Plan) published a year after the Act in 2019 in an attempt to tackle ‘wicked problems’ in the Scottish islands that remain resistant to interventions.

Despite the ground up origins of the inception of islands specific policy and a broad agreeance on the principles declared in both the Act and the Plan, implementation of the Plan has been variable. With new strategies being explored from the top down and novel linkages between actors being trialled can drawing on the principles of complex evaluation and investigating the role that context plays in the islands support implementation?

Appraisal of key policy actors in addition to the shape and orientation of social networks in the Scottish island context may help uncover insights into the governance network in this progressive policy application. In turn this can support more meaningful engagement island specific governance discourses leading to better policy outcomes transforming the way in which policy interacts with the islands and vice-versa.

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