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Elucidating an ideology: A Freedenite evaluation of Plaid Cymru's 'thought-practices'. / Alan Sandry
Swansea University Author: Alan Sandry
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This thesis examines the contention that Plaid Cymru is a political party whose principles and objectives are representative of nationalist ideology. The thesis explores the fields of ideology and nationalism to establish what ideology and nationalism entail. This is important, as Michael Freeden, w...
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This thesis examines the contention that Plaid Cymru is a political party whose principles and objectives are representative of nationalist ideology. The thesis explores the fields of ideology and nationalism to establish what ideology and nationalism entail. This is important, as Michael Freeden, whose model is used in this thesis, has claimed that nationalism is not a full ideology in that it needs input from other ideologies. The genealogy of Plaid Cymru is assessed to establish a picture of where the party's political perspectives derive from. The breaking up of Plaid Cymru into 'early' and 'modern' phases also enables an analysis of the party's evolution from 'cultural nationalist' party under Saunders Lewis to the contemporary 'decentralist socialist' party to be undertaken. Also noted throughout the thesis are areas in which individuals within the party have sought to shape its ideology. The literature and pronouncements of Plaid Cymru are then explored to ascertain what set of actual political ideas are contained within. The model of ideology enunciated by Michael Freeden is used throughout the thesis to assess the ideational development and 'thought-practices' within Plaid Cymru. A Freedenite assessment of the major ideologies and primary ideological concepts that have appeared within Plaid Cymru's morphology since its inception in 1925 is made so that these can be examined and classified In dismissing the claim that Plaid Cymru is merely a nationalist party, the concluding chapter of the thesis then attempts to construct a fresh paradigm, on the lines of Freeden's model, so that Plaid Cymru's ideological make-up can be more clearly defined.
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences