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Author Schumann, William Russell, III
Title Producing democracy: The construction of institutional legitimacy in the National Assembly for Wales
book jacket
Descript 359 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 66-05, Section: A, page: 1837
Chair: Michael Heckenberger
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2005
This dissertation ethnographically examines the processes by which democratic legitimacy is constructed and the boundaries of sovereignty are negotiated in the National Assembly for Wales, an elected body of 60 members operating within the political and administrative hierarchies of the United Kingdom and European Union, and which represents a nation of nearly three million citizens. Based on multi-sited fieldwork conducted in Wales, England, and Belgium, it is observed that political legitimacy, i.e., the socially sanctioned domination of society by state institutions, is reproduced at the interface of changing epistemologies of governance in Europe and the ideological engagements of political parties seeking to realize contesting visions of Welsh nationhood. Bringing the work of Weber, Habermas, and Derrida into conversation, a critical discourse analysis methodology is utilized to understand the internal policy process of the National Assembly and how it is connected to Welsh society and the political cultures of London and Brussels. It is argued that the devolution of political authority to the National Assembly institutionally rationalizes and legitimates ethnic difference within existing parameters of state and supranational power, which is not equivalent to empowerment, but nonetheless creates productive possibilities for the development of a form of Welsh nationhood. The ambiguities of the legitimation process are examined in the contexts of (a) the epistemological and ideological parameters of the general policy process in Wales, (b) the discursive strategies of legitimation utilized in plenary debates of the Assembly, and (c) two specific Assembly policies: Genetically Modified Organisms and Open Government. Analyzing the nation building strategies of the National Assembly in these contexts brings this dissertation into conversation with anthropological research concerned with understanding how institutional processes typically assigned to nation-states are being carried out elsewhere and in ways that are often contradictory to the state
School code: 0070
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 66-05A
Subject Anthropology, Cultural
Political Science, General
Alt Author University of Florida
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