French Journal of British Studies. Volume 2023 (XXIII-3). Part 3: Welsh Politics.

This paper employs a discursive institutionalist lens to examine the efficacy of the Welsh statutory partnership between the government and the third sector (that is, the voluntary sector, the economic sector consisting of non-governmental organisations and other non-profit organisations). This is a governance innovation associated with devolution, designed to foster inclusive governance. It is set out in legislation and corresponds to a significant divergence from Westminster’s civil society relations. This study analyses policy actors’ accounts of Partnership efficacy in achieving policy change and in institutional processes for engaging the third sector. It draws on institutional change literature to explore the extent to which the Partnership has developed over time. This paper reveals that fractures in perceptions of the Partnership as a vehicle for policy change or in terms of its inclusive processes, are countered by discourses about its value and Welsh ways of working.