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From Utopia to reality: Plaid Cymru and Europe

Wyn Jones, Richard ORCID: 2009. From Utopia to reality: Plaid Cymru and Europe. Nations and Nationalism 15 (1) , pp. 129-147. 10.1111/j.1469-8129.2009.00368.x

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This paper traces the evolution of Plaid Cymru's attitude towards Europe. It does so by focusing in turn on: the place of Europe in the ideas of Saunders Lewis, the dominant figure in the party between its foundation in 1924/25 and 1945; the more ‘northern’ or Nordic vision of Europe that gripped the party in the post-World War II era; and the waxing and waning of the party's most EU-enthusiastic phase between the mid-1980s and the present day. By adopting a longer timeframe than is normally the case, the paper argues that Europe has played a wider role in the thinking of the party than is often conceded; a role that was not at all or only tangentially related to actually existing institutions. The paper goes on to argue that it was in part the chastening impact of Plaid Cymru's eventual exposure to actually existing European institutions that led the party in 2003 to abandon its utopian commitment to a post-sovereign Europe in favour of an explicit commitment to ‘independence’ as its long-term aim.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Department of Politics and International Relations (POLIR)
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Uncontrolled Keywords: Europe; European integration; European regionalist parties; nationalism; Plaid Cymru; Wales
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 1354-5078
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2022 07:55

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