Understanding the Political Performances of the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru: A Statecraft Approach

James Richard Buller, William Robert Howard Kitson

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This paper attempts to account for the differing political fortunes of the Scottish National Party (SNP) and Plaid Cymru since the advent of devolution. While the SNP has enjoyed significant political success in Scotland, especially over the last ten years, Plaid has struggled to make a breakthrough in Wales. This paper finds the existing literature, with its emphasis on the role of nationalism and national identity, to be an insufficient explanation of this divergence. Instead, we argue that Jim Bulpitt’s Statecraft approach, with its emphasis on governing competence, is also important to any understanding of the differing electoral fortunes of these two parties. As a theoretical interpretation, Statecraft was initially developed by Bulpitt to make sense of the behaviour of political parties at the national level. This paper attempts to amend Bulpitt’s approach so that it is suitable for explicating the operations of parties at the sub-national level.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 15 Apr 2019
EventPolitical Studies Association: Unsustainable Politics in a Changing World - Nottingham Conference Centre, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 15 Apr 201917 Apr 2019


ConferencePolitical Studies Association
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

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