This book explains devolution today in terms of the evolution of past structures of government in the component parts of the United Kingdom. It highlights the importance of the English dimension and the role that England's territorial politics played in constitutional debates. Similarities and differences between how the components of the UK were governed are described. The book argues that the UK should be understood now, even more than pre-devolution, as a state of distinct unions, each with its own deeply rooted past and trajectory. Using previously unpublished primary material, as well as a wealth of secondary work, it offers a comprehensive account of the territorial constitution of the UK from the early twentieth century through to the operation of the new devolved system of government.

Building regional capacity in Wales and Brittany
Series: Devolution

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.

Banal activism, electioneering and the politics of irrelevance

This book is an ethnographic study of devolution and politics in Scotland, as well as of party-political activism more generally. It explores how Conservative Party activists who had opposed devolution and the movement for a Scottish Parliament during the 1990s attempted to mobilise politically following their annihilation at the 1997 General Election. The book draws on fieldwork conducted in Dumfries and Galloway – a former stronghold for the Scottish Tories – to describe how senior Conservatives worked from the assumption that they had endured their own ‘crisis’ in representation. The material consequences of this crisis included losses of financial and other resources, legitimacy and local knowledge for the Scottish Conservatives. The book ethnographically describes the processes, practices and relationships that Tory Party activists sought to enact during the 2003 Scottish and local government elections. Its central argument is that, having asserted that the difficulties they faced constituted problems of knowledge, Conservative activists cast to the geographical and institutional margins of Scotland became ‘banal’ activists. Believing themselves to be lacking in the data and information necessary for successful mobilisation during Parliamentary elections, local Tory Party strategists attempted to address their knowledge ‘crisis’ by burying themselves in paperwork and petty bureaucracy. Such practices have often escaped scholarly attention because they appear everyday and mundane, and are therefore less noticeable. Bringing them into view analytically has important implications for socio-cultural anthropologists, sociologists and other scholars interested in ‘new’ ethnographic objects, including activism, bureaucracy, democracy, elections and modern knowledge practices.

3303 Devolution 31/3/09 08:43 Page 142 7 Devolution is a process: Wales Devolution is a process, not an event. (Ron Davies) Introduction Even more than Scotland, the nature of the union between Wales and the rest of Britain has undergone significant change over a relatively short period of time. A historical overview is essential to understand why Welsh devolution today differs from that which exists in Scotland. What becomes clear is that while Welsh devolution is a pale version of that in Scotland, Welsh institutional development has been more dramatic

in Devolution in the UK

4 Devolution and polity building in Wales Much of the devolution debate in Wales has centred upon the uniqueness of Welsh constitutional arrangements and political traditions. Several features set the Wales case apart from those in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the English Regions. Wales had a history of limited administrative devolution from 1964 to 1999. While Scotland retained its separate legal and educational systems, Wales was routinely considered, for legislative and political purposes, either as part of England or as the junior partner in an

in Beyond devolution and decentralisation
Open Access (free)

Devolution Issues concerning women 171 12 Devolution ➤ Review of the background to devolution ➤ Past attempts to introduce devolution ➤ Analysis of the reasons why devolution was introduced after 1997 ➤ How devolution was implemented in various parts of the UK ➤ Analysis of different political attitudes towards devolution ➤ Speculation as to how successful the implementation of devolution has been BACKGROUND Movements which were dedicated to the introduction of greater selfgovernment for Britain’s national regions can be traced back as far as the nineteenth

in Understanding British and European political issues

3303 Devolution 31/3/09 08:42 Page 111 6 The settled will of the Scottish people There shall be a Scottish parliament. (Opening clause of the Scotland Act, 1998) Introduction At Labour’s Scottish conference in March 1994, Labour leader John Smith declared that a Scottish Parliament was the ‘settled will of the Scottish people’ and would be the ‘cornerstone of our plans for democratic renewal’ in Britain (Scotsman, 12 March 1994). Smith died two months later. His declaration that a parliament was Scotland’s ‘settled will’ became a rallying cry for home

in Devolution in the UK
Northern Ireland

3303 Devolution 31/3/09 08:42 Page 67 4 Encouraging conformity, not emphasising differences: Northern Ireland The true watchwords which should guide English democrats in their dealings with Ireland, as in truth with every other part of the United Kingdom, are not ‘equality’, ‘similarity’, and ‘simultaneity’, but ‘unity of government’, ‘equality of political rights‘, ‘diversity of institutions’. Unless English democrats see this they will commit a double fault: they will not in reality deal with Ireland as with England, for to deal with societies in

in Devolution in the UK
Northern Ireland since 1972

3303 Devolution 31/3/09 08:43 Page 167 8 In search of legitimacy: Northern Ireland since 1972 English policy has achieved no triumph so great as the union between England and Scotland . . . English policy has never more nearly failed of attaining any part of its objects than in the union with Ireland. (Dicey 1881: 168) The British Government reaffirm that they will uphold the democratic wish of a greater number of the people of Northern Ireland on the issue of whether they prefer to support the Union or a sovereign united Ireland. On this basis, they

in Devolution in the UK
Abstract only

3303 Devolution 31/3/09 08:43 Page 219 10 Ever looser union As a theoretical proposition the United Kingdom would probably win few converts because it seems such a fragile concoction. Imagine the reaction to a political scientist who proposed to create a country from the following design: three and a half nations, multiple religions, a number of languages, two separate legal systems and the whole thing ruled by a highly centralised government in the city in the south of the largest nation. (Morgan and Mungham 2000: 21) Devolution does not cede ultimate

in Devolution in the UK