Speaking for Wales: sport and secessionism in a small nation

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Wales is a small country with a population of around three million people. For many years it has been subsumed under a larger and more powerful neighbour as part of a broader union. Sport has long been an important site for the promotion of Wales and Welsh national identity. Rugby union, a game developed in the public schools of England, has become the national sport of Wales and a key site for discussions of the nation and national identities. Wales hosted the Rugby World Cup in 1999, the same year that the assembly government was formed as part of the devolution of power from London. This chapter considers the interplay of sport and politics in relation to discussions of secessionism and highlights the ways in which Wales is (re)positioned in international sport. Drawing upon the work of the cultural theorist Raymond Williams, it analyses the ways in which Wales is both present and absent within discussions of the nation and considers the contested terrain of sport, politics and independence.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSport and Secessionism
EditorsMariann Vaczi, Alan Bairner
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780367356569
ISBN (Print)9780367356552
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

Publication series

NameRoutledge Research in Sport, Culture and Society


  • seccessionism
  • Wales
  • sport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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