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Devolution and European Integration

how has it affected the Welsh identity?

Rechten: Alle rechten voorbehouden

Devolution and European Integration

how has it affected the Welsh identity?

Rechten: Alle rechten voorbehouden

Samenvatting

This dissertation examines how European integration and Welsh devolution have affected the Welsh identity. Devolution and European integration are the most important institutional process to have
affected Wales in the last 40 years. These political processes have caused shifts of power leading a rethinking on the Welsh identity. The dissertation seeks not to analyse the identity of the Welsh, which is the sum of several identities, but the Welsh national dimension of identity.
The research draws on various sources consulted in Cardiff. Among others, books and reports available from Cardiff University and the Cardiff European Documentation Centre are used. Reports and articles
from the Institute of Welsh Affairs will are also referred to and personal communication with the director of the Cardiff European Documentation Centre, Ian Thomson, is included in this dissertation.
The first part of the dissertation looks at the history of the Welsh identity and its diversity. It will be established that there is not one Welsh national identity but two. The language based identity holds that the Welsh language is the prime definer of identity. For the institution based identity, the relation to distinct Welsh institutions lies at the core of the national identity.
The second part of the dissertation discusses the impact of European integration on Wales. The European Union has been of importance to Wales, especially due to the funds it provides. Nevertheless,
European integration has only marginally affected the Welsh identity. Overall, the Welsh "elite" have warm feelings for Europe because of the funds it provides and because it reduces dependence on "London".
The third part of the dissertation will look at Welsh devolution. The reason for the failure of the 1979 referendum is analysed, and how changes in the way the Welsh viewed their identity ultimately led to a
significant increase in support for devolution, leading to the victory of the "Yes vote" in the 1997 and 2011 referenda.
Devolution lead to creation of a Welsh political space and gave the identity debate in Wales a new impulse. Devolution has especially been of significance for the institution based identity.
The third part of the dissertation looks at other factors that affected the Welsh identity such as the evolving role of the Welsh language in Welsh and the emergence of Plaid Cymru as a potent political force.
It is concluded that devolution has a strong impact on the institution based identity. As devolution is a process, the direction it will take in the coming years will have a direct impact on the institution based identity. European integration, so far, only has a marginal impact on the Welsh identity. It has contributed to Wales in other ways, most notably through the funds it provides. The position of the Welsh language has also been strengthened, and this is of significance for the language based identity.

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OrganisatieDe Haagse Hogeschool
AfdelingESC Europese Studies / European Studies
Jaar2013
TypeBachelor
TaalEngels

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