chapter  18
18 Pages

Wales: A Developing Political Economy

The need to restructure parts of the policy-making institutions of the British state was recognized as early as the mid-1950s when the problem of uneven economic activity between the various economic regions was first acknowleged. The problem was compounded because not all the economic regions were simply lines drawn on a map for administrative or economic purposes. Some, particularly Scotland and Wales, possessed significant political dimensions which would have to be accommodated in any new institutional arrangements. In the case of Wales, there were additional difficulties. Both economically and constitutionally, Wales is more closely integrated with England than is Scotland. For 500 years it has formed part of that constitutional hybrid 'England and Wales'. Despite this, Wales possesses a distinctive culture epitomized by a significant number of Welsh speakers. Thus, Wales is both an economic region and a nation, possessing both economic and political dimensions.