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Devolution and participation in Wales: Ron Davies and the cultivation of inclusiveness

Fevre, Ralph ORCID: and Chaney, Paul ORCID: 2000. Devolution and participation in Wales: Ron Davies and the cultivation of inclusiveness. [Working Paper]. School of Social Sciences Working Papers Series, vol. 8. Cardiff: Cardiff University.

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Inclusiveness has become a familiar term in the language of devolved politics in Wales. It refers to those changes accompanying devolution which are meant to increase participation from a low base and in adverse circumstances. In order to work out how successful these changes have been it is first necessary to identify and define them. In order to do this we returned to the source of most of these ideas and innovations, Ron Davies, in order to investigate the political realities and contingencies that gave birth to the term and the way its meaning has subsequently been extended and elaborated to cover all sorts of participation that it was hoped might come about with devolution. Davies identified six arenas where inclusiveness could be into practice in the devolution process: in the civil service bureaucracy, in consultation procedures, in the political parties, in information systems and the debating chamber of the National Assembly, and in the structure of the devolved institutions themselves. Davies also instituted the National Assembly Advisory Group which in Wales substituted for the constitutional convention Scotland enjoyed. The group was deeply symbolic of inclusiveness, and considered essential to devolution, but in order for its symbolism to have maximum effect there could be very little real debate and no real participation. The story of this group exemplifies the problems of increasing participation from a low base in adverse circumstances. It suggests that the result of the strategies of inclusiveness deployed in Wales might be neo-corporatism rather than increased participation.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Publisher: Cardiff University
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2022 10:22

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