Despite a recent expansion of interest in the history of Restoration Scotland, historiographical engagement with the place of the Highlands in the Restoration state continues to be relatively limited. Building upon recent research into the political culture of the later seventeenth century, this article offers a new conceptualization of the relationship between the center and the Highland periphery. It argues that the region was heavily integrated into wider political circumstances, while recognizing that contemporary statesmen remained concerned about its perceived wildness. From this basis, the article moves on to consider the nature of Highland policy, suggesting that tactical shifts spoke of deeper strategic uncertainty as to whether the Highlands were best controlled through the direct imposition of government power or by close cooperation with local elites. Copyright © The North American Conference on British Studies 2013.