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  • Publication
    Nation building : implementing devolution in the United Kingdom— the Welsh experience
    (University College Dublin. Institute for British-Irish Studies, 2002)
    The Welsh experience of devolution can best be summarised by contrasting it with the Scottish. Where Scotland had an established array of civic institutions, the National Assembly of Wales found itself in the position of having to construct an institutional reality. The Assembly faced a number of constraints: its powers were limited to those previously held by the Secretary of State for Wales, and it was established as a corporate body. However, it soon became clear that the view of the Assembly as a continuation from previous administrations was unsustainable. This paper discusses the role of a number of key characters and agencies in redefining the nature of the National Assembly. In addition to the development of a strong central authority the author tracks the related emergence of a new civic culture in Wales. The paper concludes by examining the broader impact of the Welsh experience of devolution on territorial politics within the British Isles, and Welsh engagement with a network of European regions.