© 2009

Toward an Anthropology of Government

Democratic Transformations and Nation Building in Wales

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. William R. Schumann
    Pages 1-27
  3. William R. Schumann
    Pages 29-51
  4. William R. Schumann
    Pages 53-73
  5. William R. Schumann
    Pages 75-101
  6. William R. Schumann
    Pages 103-121
  7. William R. Schumann
    Pages 123-150
  8. William R. Schumann
    Pages 151-169
  9. William R. Schumann
    Pages 171-183
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 185-216

About this book


The National Assembly for Wales was established in 1999, granting the people of Wales a parliament for the first time in nearly six centuries. The Assembly was intended to create a parliamentary culture of open, inclusive, and modern democracy that stood apart from the Houses of Parliament in London. Based on anthropological fieldwork, this informative book analyzes how power in Wales is legitimated and justified. William Schumann s intriguing argument makes the case that contradictory political practices exist which affirm elected officials as public representatives while also reproducing the subordinate status of Wales within the institutional hierarchies of the United Kingdom and European Union.


anthropology democracy government parliament sovereignty transformation

About the authors

William R. Schumann is assistant professor of Anthropology at University of Pittsburgh - Bradford.

Bibliographic information


"Schumann has written a timely and important anthropological assessment of power in government and the roles which politicians, civil servants and other political leaders play in social and cultural change in a devolving United Kingdom. This is work at the cutting edge of political anthropology today." - Thomas M. Wilson, Professor of Anthropology, Binghamton University, SUNY