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Devolution in the UK$
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James Mitchell

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780719053580

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719053580.001.0001

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Devolution is a process: Wales

Devolution is a process: Wales

(p.142) 7 Devolution is a process: Wales
Devolution in the UK

James Mitchell

Manchester University Press

Even more than Scotland, the nature of the union between Wales and the rest of Britain has undergone significant change over a relatively short period of time. This chapter presents an overview to understand why Welsh devolution today differs from that which exists in Scotland. What becomes clear is that while Welsh devolution is a pale version of that in Scotland, Welsh institutional development has been more dramatic. Wales demonstrates that while the past shapes the present, it need not dominate the future. Wales has had the advantage of having the Scottish precedent to follow. Debates are framed in past understandings of constitutional arrangements but this does not mean that the past will always prevent change. The perception that the Government of Wales lacked legitimacy was augmented by the existence of the Welsh Office, an institution that had developed far more quickly than the slow evolution of the Scottish Office.

Keywords:   Wales, Britain, Welsh devolution, Scotland, institutional development, Welsh Office

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