Kane is a writer on political and cultural topics, and was an activist for Scottish self-government in the 1980s and 1990s. He helped found the organization Artists for an Independent Scotland. In 1990, he was elected Rector of the University of Glasgow for three years (defeating veteran Labour MP Tony Benn). He had graduated from the university in 1985, earning an MA in English.
Whilst Rector at Glasgow, Kane had a column at the Glasgow University Guardian which was then edited by Iain Martin. Kane's copy was the subject of two notorious edits – a reference to the scholar Raymond Williams was altered to Kenneth Williams, and the sociologist Alvin Toffler to Alvin Stardust.
During the 1990s, he began working as an arts journalist, presenting several live discussion shows for Channel 4 and BBC2, and came third with BBC Radio Scotland series, Kane Over America for a Sony Award, in a category won by Allan Little. In 1999, Kane was one of the founding editors of the Sunday Herald newspaper. He occasionally writes for The Guardian. He is a regular columnist for sister paper to the Sunday Herald, The National.
In 2004, Kane published The Play Ethic: A Manifesto For a Different Way of Living. The author description says he "runs seminars, talks and a website reaching out to people living the Play Ethic".
- Larkin, Colin (1997) The Virgin Encyclopedia of Eighties Music, Virgin Books, ISBN 0-7535-0159-7, p. 236-7
- "Biography of Pat Kane", University of Glasgow. Retrieved 31 May 2010.
- "Edward Snowden, Winnie Mandela, Ross Kemp: all the greats have been Rector of Glasgow University". News – Telegraph Blogs.
- "Pat Kane", The Guardian. Retrieved 30 May 2010.
- Pat Kane (September 2004). The Play Ethic: A Manifesto For a Different Way of Living. ISBN 978-0333907368.
| Rector of the University of Glasgow