This book compares the politics, policies, and polity-building dynamics of devolution in Wales and decentralisation in the French region of Brittany. Empirically, it draws conclusions from in-depth fieldwork within the two regions and reports the findings of a comparative public-opinion survey. Theoretically, the book contributes towards our understanding of the comparative study of regions. Perhaps most impressive is how the case studies generally are based on, but also cast light back to, the nuanced theoretical framework on regional capacity established at the outset. The book uncovers the dynamics of devolution in Wales and decentralisation in Brittany through extensive face-to-face interviews: over two hundred interviews were carried out from 2001 to 2004, a formative stage in the development of the devolved institutions in Wales and also a period of expectation in Brittany.
This book is an in-depth comparative study of Scottish devolution and an analysis of the impact of the European dimension. With a focus on the periods leading up to the referendums in 1979 and 1997, it investigates positions and strategies of political parties and interest groups, and how these influenced constitutional preferences at mass level and, ultimately, the referendum results themselves. Based on analysis of an extensive body of quantitative and qualitative sources, the book builds an argument which challenges the widespread thesis that support for devolution was a consequence of Conservative rule between 1979 and 1997. It shows that the decisive factors were changing attitudes to independence and the role of the European dimension in shaping them.
This book explores how regional political parties use Europe to advance their territorial projects in times of rapid state restructuring. It examines the ways in which decentralisation and supranational integration have encouraged regional parties to pursue their strategies across multiple territorial levels. The book constitutes the first attempt to unravel the complexities of how nationalist and statewide parties manoeuvre around the twin issues of European integration and decentralisation, and exploit the shifting linkages within multi-level political systems. In a detailed comparative examination of three cases—Scotland, Bavaria and Sardinia—over a thirty-year period, it explores how integration has altered the nature of territorial party competition and identifies the limits of Europe for territorial projects. In addressing these issues, this work moves beyond present scholarship on multi-level governance to explain the diversity of regional responses to Europe. It provides insights and empirical research on the conduct of territorial party politics, and a model of territorial mobilisation in Europe.
Focusing on professional politicians, this book investigates the interrelationship between political career patterns and political institutions in two of the most widely discussed cases of regionalism: Catalonia and Scotland. It deals with two different yet closely related sets of questions. Firstly, how do professional politicians pursue their careers in the regional context? And secondly, how do they shape and reshape the political institutions in which they pursue these careers? The book is based on extensive empirical research including a comprehensive data set on the careers of Catalan and Scottish parliamentarians, systematic surveys of regional representatives as well as in-depth interviews with a wide range of politicians and experts in both regions. Exploring the effects of political professionalisation on regional democracy, it goes beyond traditional studies of regionalism and decentralization, while its focus on the regional career arena introduces a territorial dimension to the study of political careers.