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Devolution and institutional culture: path-dependency and the Welsh assembly

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In an attempt to identify and assess institutional culture in the Welsh Assembly (WA), this article analyses agency and path-dependency in relation to Assembly Member (AM) perspectives, devolution policy and historical documentation. As primary agents, AMs were posed a number of questions regarding the initial rationales for an Assembly and whether the new institution reflected the cultural tendencies of its incoming membership. In order to identify and understand relationships between agency and path-dependency, this article identifies a distinction between the WA and individual actors. Distinctions between organisational and individual levels identify how different institutions fit together and illustrate relationships between path-dependency and agency. These relationships allow theoretical and empirical insights into cultural difference between the emerging WA and pre-devolution Welsh political institutions.
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Keywords: Assembly Members; Welsh Assembly; agency; calculus and cultural approaches; critical juncture; historical institutionalism; institutional culture; path-dependency

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Faculty of Social Science and Business, Plymouth Business School, University of Plymouth, UK

Publication date: April 1, 2009

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