“There was truth in what the independence sectors objected to”

Scotland has opted for staying British at last. Do you expect that this outcome will settle the matter of Scottish independence once and for all?

No. On the contrary, it will generate a thick layer made from the mix of hope and disillusionment that will be present in many domains— politics, emotions, socialite. It will hover over the winners and the losers in this referendum. As commentators have said: something has changed and it will mark what comes next.

Many observers see the Scottish independence movement as a worrying sign of atavistic national resentment and parochialism. Do you agree?

No. I don’t. I think it belongs to our global modernity — it is not an inheritance of the past reborn as nationalism. It is more complex. I was recently (in mid-August) in a session of the Edinburgh Parliament – they invited several of us to speak in “closed chambers” as they say: only invited could be there plus the politicians, and after that, a dinner with the head of Scottish government, Alex Salmond. And I must say I began to feel (not so much think) that if I were Scottish, I would want to separate, and not because of nationalisms à la English vs Scottish, but because of these extraordinary powerful systems of capture at the top concentrated in London and its region (we have that in the US as well), and the orientation of so many institutions towards the queen of capture, London, the global city.

Scotland is not the only region in Europe with a strong independence movement – Catalonia springs to mind, but also parts of northern Italy, Belgium and France ...

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