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Devolution in Wales: between economic constraint and political opportunity

Stafford, Ian ORCID: 2017. Devolution in Wales: between economic constraint and political opportunity. Revue Internationale de Politique Comparee 23 (3) , pp. 401-424. 10.3917/ripc.233.0401

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The UK experience and in particular the case of Wales, raises doubts regarding any mechanical effect of re-centralization through the economic crisis. Drawing on an interview panel of 26 stakeholders interviewed between October 2012 and July 2013 (representing three main groups, namely devolved government, professional and policy communities, and elected representatives at the devolved level), the paper examines devolution in Wales in relation to the key themes identified in the foreword: the experience of fiscal discipline related to the crisis; the impact of the European Union; State restructuring and the major challenges identified by the regional decision makers. The UK’s position outside of the Eurozone has meant that Wales has not been subject to the “hard” convergence pressures which have increasingly constrained sub-national actors across Europe. Although Wales has faced increasing economic constraints and fiscal pressures akin to “hard” convergence due to the UK Government’s austerity programme, it was able to shelter local public services in the short term. Further, the economic crisis has acted as a catalyst for the opening of policy windows in terms of both the development of devolution and the reform of public services. Welsh decision-makers attempted to make good use of the crisis and to demonstrate that the devolved authorities could manage change.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Department of Politics and International Relations (POLIR)
Cardiff Law & Politics
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Publisher: De Boeck-wesmael S.A.
ISSN: 1370-0731
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 5 July 2017
Date of Acceptance: 5 May 2017
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2023 18:26

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