Serving the Nation: Devolution and the Civil Service in Wales

Alistair Mark COLE*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The article captures the evolution of the moving object of Welsh devolution over its first decade through a case study of the civil service in Wales. Three positions are proposed as heuristics for understanding politico-administrative relations in devolved Wales: these are administrative persistence, capacity-building and bureaucratic capture. Rather than set these dynamics against each other, the case study of the civil service in Wales demonstrates the value of reasoning in terms of a mix of administrative, political and managerial pressures, requiring the development of hybrid responses and skills. Although the institutional capacity-building dynamic clearly had the ascendancy during the first decade, as the post-devolution Welsh polity gradually becomes more settled, there is likely to be a revival of more generic administrative and/or managerial concerns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)458-476
Number of pages19
JournalBritish Journal of Politics and International Relations
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

User-Defined Keywords

  • Bureaucracy
  • Civil service
  • Devolution
  • Wales


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