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Parliamentary Affairs Advance Access

Published: Mon, 11 Sep 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Last Build Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2017 07:53:24 GMT


The Politics of Welshness: A Response to Bradbury and Andrews


The advent of Welsh devolution has thrown questions around national identity and its politicisation into sharp relief, the causal links between the development of autonomous government and levels of self-identification as Welsh explored as never before. This article examines this phenomenon through analysis of the arguments of Bradbury and Andrews (2010, Parliamentary Affairs, 63, 229–249). It agrees with their argument that the politicisation of Welshness, rather than a sense of Welshness itself, has increased, but challenges their reasoning for this increased politicisation, arguing that, rather than resulting from a convergence on a sense of ‘civic Welshness’, new qualitative research, derived through the use of structured interviews and focus groups, suggests that the increased politicisation results from a conflation of national identity and party ideology.

Twenty Years after the Belfast Agreement


Twenty years after the Agreement with two names (Belfast and Good Friday) we have, following W.B. Yeats, shifted from the intensity of the ‘great hatred’ but remain confined in the ‘little room’. Hatred remains but the daily drip of sectarian and state violence has lost flow. Northern Ireland is always located in discursive moments. Tussling as it does with the main narratives and tropes of identity. The Northern Ireland Assembly has been part success as much as it has been part failure. It has been brought down by various scandals and an inability to square circles. Up until the Assembly election of 2017, that was driven by the latest scandal and the cultural war, the Assembly had successful driven ethnic tribune voting while at the same time delivering a greater number of non-voters. The great divide was as much to do with orange and green as it was ethnic tribune versus a rejection of the politics of war by other means. The Agreement’s greatest achievement has been the removal of the gun from Irish politics which is a seismic shift from what was a wearied and predictable series of events.