Strengthening and revitalising democracy was a common rationale for establishing regional goverment in Spain and the United Kingdom. In this context, this article aims to assess the impact of regional government on the relationship between civil society and devolved government in Wales and in Catalonia. Based on case studies, the extent to which regional government structures promote civil society participation is assessed and regional government’s impact on the identity of civil society is analysed. Despite the differences, in both cases regional goverments undertook ‘top-down’ efforts to build civil society and the latter has contributed to the Catalan and Welsh nation-building projects. The findings draw attention to the potentially negative democratic implications arising from regional government and civil society relations and the effects of broader political culture.
Regional government and civil society in Wales and Catalonia
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