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Welsh Nationalism in the Twentieth Century: The Ethnic Option and the Modern State





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About the book:

An important contribution to the study of ethnic nationalism, this volume analyzes the electoral successes of the Welsh nationalist movement during the postwar period. The author combines structural and individual levels of analysis to explain changes in the nationalist movement and breaks new ground by showing the relationship between specific structural factors--such as the emergence of a Welsh bureaucracy--and those individual decision-making processes that have created nationalist activists and voters. Her work differs from most other studies of ethnic nationalism in its treatment of the cultural bases of such movements, arguing that factors such as national histories and separate languages may play a substantive role in the growth and success of ethnically-based political movements.

In constructing her study, the author employed two primary research techniques -- participant-observation and formal interviews. Intensive involvement in the Welsh nationalist movement as well as interviews with Plaid Cymru national leaders and officers, Members of Parliament, prospective parliamentary candidates, activists, and many others enables Davies to paint a more detailed profile of the movement than has yet been available. She analyzes in depth such critical factors as the relationship between British central economic planning, especially regional planning, and the electoral success of the Welsh nationalist movement; the contribution to the process of the development of a welfare-state bureaucracy; and the complex role played by a minority language in the success of the Welsh nationalist movement in particular and on the critical relationship between culture and politics in general.

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