By the same authors

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

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper




ConferencePolitical Studies Association
CountryUnited Kingdom
Conference date(s)15/04/1917/04/19

Publication details

DateUnpublished - 15 Apr 2019
Original languageEnglish


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.

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