'ALL ADVANCE FROM BARBARISM TO CIVILISATION IS THE DEVELOPMENT OF SOCIAL SCIENCE': WALES AND THE PROMOTION OF SOCIAL SCIENCE In the 1860s, a serious attempt was made to bring Wales into the mainstream of mid-nineteenth century social science, which was an influential social and political factor in developed Western societies. With its roots in the eighteenth-century Enlightenment and drawing renewed impetus from Comtean positivism in the nineteenth century, it was an aspect of the intellectual movement that promised human and social imrovement through the collection of scientific knowledge and its objective analysis by knowledge-bearing elites. The capitalist trans- formation of the economy with its far-reaching social consequences, and the heightening of class tensions and conflicts, together with the move- ment towards greater political representation reinforcing the impact of macro-historical change, underlined the need for new ways of thinking about society. As new ideas evolved about the role of the state in civil society, governments sought new relationships with the governed. These changes provided the contextual framework for the development of nineteenth-century social science and helped to establish its authority based on the contemporary view that only empirical analysis could provide scientific solutions to 'social problems'. It was premised on the positivist conception that society developed in law-like ways and that social behaviour and public policy could be made to conform to rational social laws. 1 1 For the development of social science generally, see D. Rueschmeyer and T. Skocpol (eds.), States, Social Knowledge and the Origins of Modern Social Policies (Princeton, 1996); N. Genov (ed.), National Traditions in Sociology, 1834-1914 (London, 1968), esp. pp.31-52; R. Soffer, 'Why do disciplines fail? The strange case of British sociology', English History Review, 97, CCCLXXXV (1982), 767-801, esp.768-81; L. Goldman, 'Exceptionalism and Internationalism: The Origins of American Social Science Reconsidered', Journal of Historical Sociology, 11, no. 1 (1998), 1-36; idem, 'The Social Science Association, 1857-1886: A Context for