Although one or two people seem to find it hard to believe, running this blog is essentially a spare-time activity for me. My day-job at Cardiff University involves me teaching and trying to produce academic research that will be published in professional journals, books etc. Much of that research, of course, informs the material that I produce for this blog.
Recently I had an article accepted for publication in the Journal of Legislative Studies, the leading academic journal in the field of…well, what do you think a journal with that title would be about? It’s about parliaments, law-making, and all that sort of thing. The journal’s editor, Prof Philip Norton (also known as Lord Lorton of Louth – he sits in the Lords as a Conservative peer) has always taken a very positive approach to the study of the devolved chambers in the UK, and I was delighted that he accepted an article that I co-authored (with my good friend Prof Richard Wyn Jones) entitled The Public Legitimacy of the National Assembly for Wales.
I previously published on the blog a post about one element of the article’s findings. This concerned the extent of ‘diffuse support’ enjoyed by the National Assembly. Just to remind you, I concluded from this that:
These results suggest that public support for the NAW is still rather conditional in nature. While lots of other evidence has shown that there is substantial support for the Assembly to exist, and to exercise a significant role in the government of Wales, in the event of the Assembly becoming associated with unpopular actions many Welsh people seem to find it quite possible to imagine life without it….For a significant proportion of the Welsh people, it seems, the NAW is an optional feature of how they are governed, rather than a fundamental, non-negotiable one.
The full article covers a rather broader range of matters related to public attitudes to the Assembly as an institution; however, I should warn you that there are at least some elements of ‘academese’ in it! I try to make posts to the blog reasonably brief and to write them in an accessible style; some of you who enjoy those might find this article a bit more of a slog.
However, for those of you I have not already put off entirely, the article is now available online. For those of you who have access via an institutional or individual subscription to the journal, the published version is available here. If you don’t have such access, a PDF version of the final manuscript submitted to the journal is available here.