Last year, Professor Iain McLean retired from his full-time position as Professor of Politics and Official Fellow of Nuffield College. Earlier this year, Iain’s former colleagues, students, friends and family gathered at a conference celebrating his career. These blog posts are selections from these presentations – forming a digital Festschrift.

Up to the present, Iain’s career has encompassed a wide variety of sub-disciplines in political science, including voting theory, rational choice, political history and public policy, and has included diverse countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom and France. More broadly, his interests include choral and instrumental music (including conducting) and driving steam trains on the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway. Themes in the series include Theorists and Theory; British Policy and Politics; and Educational Environments.

These posts offer a selection of snapshots from Iain’s career, reflecting the diversity of his interests, the character of the institutions where he has worked and the exceptional quality of his contributions to the discipline and many of its sub-disciplines.

Iain and I both spent a great deal of time researching on and writing about Britain’s Repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846 (McLean 2001; Schonhardt-Bailey 2006). The first question that comes to mind when one reflects on this fact is, why? More specifically, why would any modern political scientist find this specific episode in British history to be worthy of extensive academic study? As I write this, let me note that one of the lead articles in this week’s Economist draws upon the lessons of Repeal to explore the current challenges to free trade in America’s 2016 presidential campaign, namely that freer trade creates both winners and losers.[1] Of course, The Economist prides itself as originating in 1843, as …

In this interview, Jim Gallagher discusses the political and constitutional issues arising from the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum. Professor Jim Gallagher was senior advisor to the Prime Minister on devolution strategy (2007-2010) and was Secretary of the Calman Commission on Scottish Devolution. He is Visiting Professor at the University of Glasgow and Associate Member at Nuffield College, Oxford. An expert advisor to the Scottish Parliament, he was appointed to advise the committee considering the Scotland Act 2016. (The interview was recorded before the UK’s EU Referendum on 23 June 2016.)