University of Bath researcher Dr Michael Silk talks about impact of Commonwealth Games on Scottish independence campaign

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Written by:   | Posted 25-July-2014 9:30

A researcher from the University of Bath has spoken about the impact the Commonwealth Games could have on the Scottish independence campaign.

Dr Michael Silk, who is head of the university's physical and cultural studies group, has looked into the impact of sporting events such as World Cups and Olympics, to understand the impact and effect they have on national identity and national pride.

He has suggested that the performance of Team Scotland will be critical for "Yes" campaigners in the Scottish referendum, but that the impact of a boost to national pride is unlikely to feed through to September's vote.

Dr Silk said: "Any major event puts forward a particular version of national identity, often mythical and inclusive, and it is something that has political capital.

"In an effort to attract tourists, boost the economy, the push towards a national "feel good factor" is undoubtedly something we'll see from the organisers of Glasgow 2014.

"But in many respects it will be the performance of Team Scotland that really matters in the referendum debate.

"And this could work both ways: if Team Scotland do well we will see a surge in patriotism and a boost to the Yes campaign; but if, like in the recent World Cup, we see the host nation fall short, this could have a strong detrimental effect instead."

Dr Silk added that, if the experience of the London 2012 Olympics was anything to go by, then any political capital gained from the Games was likely to only be short-lived.


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