Пример Уэльса показывает, что как только удаётся создать серию национальных институтов, связанных с решением специфичных национальных проблем, и удаётся запустить их работу, национальная среда начинает воспроизводиться, и в этой среде воспроизводится именно национальное сознание и национальная фокусировка взгляда.
It is hardly surprising then that a consciousness of place and differences between places have
been central to political and popular constructions of Wales in the modern period (Gruffydd 1999). Yet the
construction of Wales as a nation, as a place with a coherent and distinctive identity, has also been a major
political project since the late nineteenth century (Davies 1990). The idea that Wales is a distinctive social
entity with particular needs and problems and that it makes sense to think in terms of a ‘Welsh dimension’
in politics, the arts, sport, and so on (Morgan 1985) is not some inevitable product of a Welsh ‘essence’. We
agree with the argument of Jackson and Penrose (1993) that nations are not discovered but are created.
That task of creation is the more difficult in a nation with little history of being a political or governmental
unit and with a recent history of acute consciousness of place and rivalries between places. Nevertheless,
the project has undoubtedly been successful in some respects. The establishment of successive tranches of
administrative devolution of central government functions since 1945 (Grif-fiths 1996; Barry Jones 2000),
the creation of a constellation of regional/national institutions – albeit at the cost of creating a ‘quango
state’ (Morgan and Roberts 1993) – and the long-standing and continuing significance of national
identification in sport and popular culture all testify to the grip of the idea of nationality in Welsh life,
including political life. This does not imply that separatism has ever been popular, but the ‘distinctiveness’ of
Wales has become a powerful idea. On the other hand, such gains cannot be taken for granted by their
supporters – McCrone et al. (1998:630–631) highlight the contrast between allegiance to a non-British
identity in Scotland and in Wales by quoting survey results showing that the ratio of those in Scotland
giving a Scottish identity priority over a British one to those who would do the converse was close to 8:1.
The corresponding ratio in Wales (in relation to Welsh identity) was 8:5. Moreover, the proportion of
respondents giving priority to a Scottish identity was also considerably larger (61 per cent as opposed to 42
per cent in Wales). Osmond (1989) has argued that the nature of Welsh identity varies spatially,
overlapping substantially (if not wholly) with different experiences of industrialisation over the last 200
years. He suggests a ‘Three Wales Model’, with largely rural west and north Wales (save for
Pembrokeshire) defined as ‘Y Fro Gymraeg’ (the Welsh vale with a deeply rooted Welsh-speaking culture);
the south Wales coalfield a culturally distinctive Anglo-Welsh ‘Welsh Wales’; and the eastern half of Wales,
the south-eastern coastal fringe and Pembrokeshire constituting a ‘British Wales’. Such generalisations
mask local distinctiveness and socio-economic changes, but it must be said that the model fitted quite well with the variations in the referendum on Welsh devolution in the late 1990s.
Second, they underline the significance of having a Welsh Assembly – that is, the claim that
Wales has distinctive problems and approaches to addressing these plays its part in constructing the nation.