Political Conceptualisations of Welshness and Basqueness

  • Sophie Williams


This chapter considers elite framing and political mobilisation of Welshness and Basqueness, encompassing comprehensive analyses of political parties’ frames, to assess the level of common ground, or lack thereof, and the influence of party political framing of Welshness or Basqueness on focus group participants. In Wales, the research highlights a common acceptance of multiplicities of Welshness and the consequent transformation of political parties to reflect this change and demonstrate their Welsh credentials. It further challenges established literature on the topic, suggesting that, rather than converging on a ‘civic Welshness’; Welsh political parties conflate national identity and their own political ideology, resulting in frames of Welshness that silence opposing visions. In the Basque Country, key similarities and differences between parties are likewise identified, one of which is the mutual exclusivity of the frames of Basqueness and Spanishness presented, alongside the primordialist language and hostility of the discourse used by interviewees. The chapter underlines the strength of conviction felt by those consulted and suggests the potential consequences of a continued stalemate in the intractable positioning on these topics, not least in terms of prolonging what are arguably irreconcilable and non-negotiable frames of Basqueness into the future.


  1. Bradbury, Jonathan, and Andrews, Rhys, ‘State Devolution and National Identity: Continuity and Change in the Politics of Britishness and Welshness in Wales’, Parliamentary Affairs, 3.2 (2010), 229–249.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sophie Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.Office for National StatisticsNewportWales

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