Cohesion Cymru: European objectives in national times
Paper short abstract:
What happens when mobile policies meet national moorings? In this paper, we look at how European territorial cohesion policies have travelled into Wales. We argue that cohesion with Europe has offered a way for devolved Welsh policy to become more, not less, distinct.
Paper long abstract:
What happens when policies made for mobility meet national moorings? After a majority in Wales voted to leave the European Union, more than one media commentator declared that the turkeys had voted for Christmas. The reasoning behind comments of this kind was simple: unlike most of the UK, Wales has been a net beneficiary of European funding. Since 2000, Wales has received funds particularly through 'territorial cohesion' policies, which aim to smooth out Europe's socio-economic map. Following the money trail is (relatively) easy, but in this paper we look instead at how idea(l)s of cohesion have themselves migrated into Welsh policy space - settling, skimming, or side-stepping. As we show, tracing policy mobilities into Welsh governance is made all the more intriguing by Wales' status as a country, yet not quite a state. Just as Wales caught European attention as an object for cohesion, it became a subject for devolution within the UK. The story of Welsh political self-determination is still unfolding, making policy a crucially contested space. We argue that cohesion with Europe has, paradoxically, offered a way for a devolved Wales to become more, not less, distinct. Travelling the policy landscape and drawing on current fieldwork from Cardiff to Ceredigion, we show mobilities in the re-making of moorings - and we wonder some more about turkeys.
Policy mobility in a globalised world: how ideas and practices of governance and management travel, settle and colonise new domains