Ever looser union
in Devolution in the UK
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The central argument of this book is that devolved government was the culmination of processes that had evolved over many decades but devolution was never inevitable. The original different unions have been important in the development of the UK's territorial politics but so too have been other forces. Social and economic pressures gave rise to different conceptions of what the state at the centre should do, how much it should intervene in society and the economy, and this had consequences for its territorial constitution and issues of territorial management. The greatest problem with the idea of the UK as a union state is that it focuses exclusively on only some or even one of the unions which created the state. If the unitary state understanding of the UK was inadequate because it only described the English polity, the union state understanding is inadequate because it ignores England and Wales.

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