A new Aberystwyth University research centre dedicated to developing a greater understanding of contemporary politics and society in Wales completed its launch year with a reception in Cardiff Bay last Thursday 14 December.
The Centre for Welsh Politics and Society /WISERD@Aberystwyth (CWPS) brings together geographers, modern historians, political scientists and psychologists to tackle some of the pressing social and economic issues that face Wales today.
The reception, hosted by Ceredigion Assembly Member and National Assembly for Wales Llywydd (Presiding Officer) Elin Jones AM, took place at the Pierhead Building in Cardiff Bay and ran from 17:30 until 19:30.
Leading CWPS researchers working on the centre’s three main themes; Governance, Participation and Civil Society; Language, Culture and Identity; and Global Connection; were on hand to discuss their work.
Professor Michael Woods, Co-Director of the Centre for Welsh Politics and Society / WISERD@Aberystwyth said: “The reception in the Pierhead was a great opportunity for us to tell Cardiff-based politicians, civil servants and civil society leaders about the excellent research being conducted in the Centre, and to demonstrate that Aberystwyth University is contributing to the social and political life of the whole of Wales.”
Co-Director Dr Anwen Elias added: “The reception tops a busy first year for CWPS and we are grateful to Elin Jones AM for her sponsorship of the event.”
Centre for Welsh Politics and Society
Governance, Participation and Civil Society
Led by Dr Taulant Guma, Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, this theme aims to address the emergence of Governance – the multiple ways and levels (local, regional, national, global) in which power operates and is exercised – as an idea and practice replacing the more traditional approach of authority governing over a nation and its people.
Led by Dr Lucy Taylor from the Department of International Politics. The politics and society of Wales are deeply entangled in relations with other parts of Britain and Europe and the rest of the world. The Global Connections theme aims to explore these connections, investigating how Wales compares with similar nations and regions, how it is influenced by transnational networks and processes, and how Wales has made its mark on other parts of the world.
Language, Culture and Identities
Led by Dr Elin Royles from the Department of International Politics, this theme focuses on the relationship between language and identity in Wales and examines questions around the politics of the Welsh language; the development and implementation of language policy and planning; the geography of the Welsh language; and Welsh language, culture and identity in education, citizenship and everyday life in Wales.
With public engagement a key element in its mission, CWPS has hosted a wide-ranging programme of public events during 2017 to highlight some of the current issues facing society in Wales.
In January CWPS hosted a public event at the Morlan Centre at Aberystwyth that focused on Brexit: The Key Questions for Wales, examining the potential effects on the rural economy, migrant workers and Welsh language and culture.
Its first St David’s Day Lecture, delivered by Baroness Eluned Morgan AM in March, also returned to the theme of Brexit.
In May CWPS launched a new MA in Welsh Politics and Society and in June hosted its traditional, and popular, General Election Hustings.
In September the GLOBAL-RURAL project reported on a major study of Newtown Powys and the effects of ‘everyday globalization’ on the town and surrounding communities with a public exhibition.
Also in September, CWPS co-hosted a conference at Aberystwyth University onUK Language Policy after Brexit 2017: The Influence of Devolution.
In early November, as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science, CWPS hosted a public debate entitled Imagining alternative future for Mid Wales with Baroness Eluned Morgan, AM; Dr Marc Welsh, Aberystwyth University; Mr Barry Rees, Strategic Director: Learning and Partnerships Ceredigion County Council and Ben Lake MP.
The Centre for Welsh Politics and Society is affiliated to WISERD, the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods.