Security and an Independent Scotland lecture series

Please register to attend any of the lectures below via our Eventbrite site.

Download the series poster:

Tuesday 27 November 2012

16.45 - 18.45
Seminar Room 248 (Gannochy), Wolfson Medical School, C8 

Tea/Coffee served at 16.45 and talk commences 17.15

"International Reactions to Scottish Independence"

Click here for a recording of this talk.

Speaker: Professor William Walker
Professor of International Relations, University of St Andrews

William Walker has been Professor of International Relations at the University of St Andrews since 1996, having previously worked at the University of Sussex and the Royal Institute of International Affairs.  A graduate of Edinburgh University (electrical engineering), his main research and writings have been on international nuclear politics.  His many publications include, with David Albright and Frans Berkhout, Plutonium and Highly Enriched Uranium: World Inventories, Capabilities and Policies (1997), the first global survey of nuclear weapon materials; with Malcolm Chalmers, Uncharted Waters: The UK, Nuclear Weapons and the Scottish Question (2001); and A Perpetual Menace: Nuclear Weapons and International Order (2012).

Tuesday 22 January 2013

16.45 - 18.45, Senate Room, Main Building, A10 

Tea/Coffee served at 16.45 and talk commences 17.15

"Scottish Independence and Critical International Legal Issues"

Click here for a recording of this talk.

Speaker: Ambassador David Scheffer (Northwestern University)

David Scheffer holds an endowed professorship and serves as the Director of the Center for International Human Rights.  He teaches International Human Rights Law and International Criminal Law.  Scheffer supervises the International Externship Program.  He received the Dean’s Teaching Award 2007-2008 and founded and co-edited (2007-2011) the Cambodia Tribunal Monitor.  Scheffer is the U.N. Secretary-General's Special Expert on United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials.  He was selected by Foreign Policy Magazine as one of the "Top Global Thinkers of 2011." 

Scheffer was previously the U.S. Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues (1997-2001) and led the U.S. delegation in U.N. talks establishing the International Criminal Court.  During his ambassadorship, he negotiated and coordinated U.S. support for the establishment and operation of international and hybrid criminal tribunals and U.S. responses to atrocities anywhere in the world. S cheffer also headed the Atrocities Prevention Inter-Agency Working Group.  During the first term of the Clinton Administration, he served as senior adviser and counsel to the U.S. Representative to the United Nations, Dr. Madeleine Albright, and served from 1993 through 1996 on the Deputies Committee of the National Security Council.  Scheffer has held visiting professorships at Northwestern Law, Georgetown University Law Center, and George Washington University Law School and taught at Duke University School of Law and Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.  He has published extensively on international legal and political issues and appears regularly in the national and international media.

Scheffer is a member of the New York and District of Columbia Bars, the American Society of International Law (formerly serving on the Executive Council), the American Bar Association, and the Council on Foreign Relations, and was Chairman of the Board of Directors of the International Law Students Association (2004-2008).  His book, All the Missing Souls: A Personal History of the War Crimes Tribunals (Princeton University Press, 2012) received the 2012 Book of the Year Award from the American National Section of the International Association of Penal Law.

Thursday 21 February 2013

16.45 - 18.45, Bute Hall, Main Building, A14 

Tea/Coffee served at 16.45 and talk commences 17.15

"The Economic Challenges Facing an Independent Scotland"

Click here for a recording of this talk.

Speaker: Professor John Kay (Financial Times Columnist and Visiting Fellow at London School of Economics

John Kay is one of Britain’s leading economists.  His interests focus on the relationships between economics and business.  His career has spanned academic work and think tanks, business schools, company directorships, consultancies and investment companies, he chaired the Review of UK Equity Markets and Long-Term Decision-Making which reported to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills on the 23rd July 2012.

He is a visiting Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics, a Fellow of St John’s College, Oxford.  He is a Fellow of the British Academy, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.  He is a director of several public companies and contributes a weekly column to the Financial Times.  He is the author of many books, including The Truth about Markets (2003) and The Long and the Short of It: finance and investment for normally intelligent people who are not in the industry (2009) and his latest book, Obliquity was published by Profile Books in March 2010. Some of his most influential, recent work has been on banking regulation, and you can read about his vision for the sector in his 2009 essay, Narrow Banking.


Thursday 21 March 2013

16.45 - 18.45, Kelvin Gallery, Hunterian Museum, Main Building, A7 

Tea/Coffee served at 16.45 and talk commences 17.15

"Scottish Independence and the Question of Transatlantic and European Security" 

Speaker: Ms Hajnalka Vincze (Independent Security Analyst)

Hajnalka Vincze is an independent security and defence policy analyst, formerly (until 2004) research fellow in charge of EU defence and transatlantic security issues at the Hungarian Ministry of Defence’s Institute for Strategic and Defence Studies.  She is publishing in French, Hungarian, Italian, Swiss, English books, specialized reviews and/or newspapers.  Her writings on European defence and NATO matters are compulsory readings in academic courses on these subjects in Hungary.

As well as being a frequent participant at international seminars and conferences from Brussels through Strasbourg to Bucarest, guest lecturer at Universities all over Hungary, and a frequent invitee in national media on European and transatlantic security issues, she was also running a column called “Transatlantic observatory” in French geopolitical review “La Lettre Sentinel”, and is a regular contributor to the French review “Défense & Stratégie” on European armaments and EU defence policy issues.

Further information on her publications and activities is to be found at

Thursday 23 May 2013

16.45 - 18.45
Senate Room, Main Building, A10 

Tea/Coffee served at 16.45 and talk commences 17.15

"Independence? Lessons Learned by a Recently Independent State in Europe" 

Speaker: Professor Ivo Samson (Slovak Foreign Policy Association)

Ivo Samson is currently the Director of the Slovak Ministry of Defense affiliated “Institute of Security and Defense Studies”. Previous to this post he was the Head of the International Security Programme at the Research Center of the Slovak Policy Association. His research focus is primarily on the security and defense of Central Europe with special attention given to the role and place of the European Union, OSCE and NATO. He has published extensively on the geopolitical position of Central Europe in English, Slovak and German. One of his main works was the Security and Foreign Policy of Slovakia in the First Years of Independence (2000). It is in this line of thought that Ivo Samson seeks to draw some analogies for Scotland about Slovakia’s experience of the Velvet Divorce and challenges it faced as a newly independent state in Europe. He will examine some of the specific features of Slovakia’s independence after the division of Czechoslovakia including the technical problems and details with special focus on security aspects. Recognizing that the cases of Scotland and Slovakia are not identical, a lot of analogies do still exist and can help us better understand the possible implications of independence and a Tartan Divorce between Scotland and the rest of the UK.


7-8 November 2013  

Security and an Independent Scotland Conference
Panels under consideration include:

  • International Implications
  • Defence Implications
  • Economic implications
  • Terrorism/Cyber Security
  • Environment/Resource Security