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Politics in Europe

Politics in Europe

Seventh Edition

June 2018 | 808 pages | CQ Press
Politics in Europe, Seventh Edition introduces students to the power of the European Union as well as seven political systems—the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Russia, Poland—within a common analytical framework that enables students to conduct both single-case and cross-national analysis. Each case addresses the most relevant questions of comparative political analysis: who governs, on behalf of what values, with the collaboration of what groups, in the face of what kind of opposition, and with what socioeconomic and political consequences? Packed with captivating photos and robust country descriptions from regional specialists, the Seventh Edition enables students to think critically about these questions and make meaningful cross-national comparisons.

About the Authors
Part I: United Kingdom, Christopher J. Carman
1.1 The Context of British Politics
British Diversity

A United Kingdom of Four Countries

Stability and Change

Traditional and Modern: The Political Culture of the United Kingdom

Class Politics, but . . .

Conservatively Liberal Policy Ideas

Isolated but European

1.2 Where Is the Power?
British Parliamentary Government

The Monarch

The Prime Minister

The Cabinet and Government


The Civil Service

The Judiciary

The Rest of Government

1.3 Who Has the Power?
Political Parties

The Party and Electoral Systems

The Two Major Parties

The Labour Party

The Conservative Party

Voting and Elections

Voter Turnout

Partisan Choice by Voters

Pressure Groups and Corporatism

Major Interest Groups

Patterns of Influence

1.4 How Is Power Used?
The Parliamentary Process and New Policies

Agenda Setting and Policy Formulation

Policy Continuation: Budgeting

Policymaking in Great Britain

1.5 What Is the Future of British Politics?
The Economy

The Public Sector

Who Rules Great Britain?

Who Rules in Government?

Continued Devolution, Breakup, or What?

Part 2: France
2.1 The Context of French Politics
Religion and Social Class


Revolutions, Regime Changes, and Legitimacy Crises

Aspects of French Political Culture

2.2 Where Is the Power?
The President and the Government

The Parliament

The Administrative State

2.3 Who Has the Power?
Political Parties: Traditional “Political Families”

Elections in the Fifth Republic

The Future of Political Parties: Rivalries, Divisions, and Uncertainties

Interest Groups

2.4 How Is Power Used?

Deputies, Senators, and Decisions

Bureaucratic Politics

Delegating Responsibility for Decisions

Conflicts Within the System

2.5 What Is the Future of French Politics?
Stability, Modernization, and Democracy

Administration and Justice: Developments and Reforms

Problems and Prospects for France

The Economic Challenge: Welfare Statism and “Neoliberalism”

Foreign Policy: Europe and Beyond

Societal and Systemic Issues

Part 3: Germany
3.1 The Context of German Politics
Historical Context

Geographic and Demographic Context


Socioeconomic Structure


Political Attitudes

3.2 Where Is the Power?
Policymaking Institutions

3.3 Who Has the Power?
Political Parties

Interest Groups

The German Voter, 1949–2017

Unified Germany at the Polls, 1990–2017

Voting Behavior

3.4 How Is Power Used?
Semipublic Institutions

The Social Security and Health Systems

Federal Labor Agency

How Power Was Used in the Kohl Era, 1982–1998

How Power Was Used in the Unification Process

The Use of Power by Schröder’s Red–Green Coalition, 1998–2002

How Power Was Used: The Grand Coalition, 2005–2009

Merkel’s Second Government: The CDU–FDP Coalition, 2009–2013

How Power Was Used: Merkel’s Third Term, 2013–2017

The Process of Policy Implementation

3.5 What Is the Future of German Politics?
Germany and the Euro Crisis

The Problem of Putin’s Russia


Immigration and Asylum

Xenophobia and Right-Wing Violence

Germany’s International Role

Institutional Gridlock and the Federal System

Putting Germany Back Together Again: The Continued Challenge of Rebuilding and Integrating the East

The Economic Reconstruction of the East

Part 4: Italy
4.1 The Context of Italian Politics
Historical Context

Socioeconomic Context



Political Culture

4.2 Where Is the Power?
The President: Guarantor of the Constitution and Ceremonial Chief of State

The Prime Minister and the Cabinet

The Parliament

The Bureaucracy

The Judiciary

Subnational Governments

4.3 Who Has the Power?
Political Parties

The Voters: The Electoral System and Voting Behavior

Interest Groups

4.4 How Is Power Used?
The Multilevel Governance System in Italy

Policy Formulation

Policy Implementation and the Principle of Subsidiarity

Policy Outputs

Italy’s Economic Policy, 2000–2016

4.5 What Is the Future of Italian Politics?
Elements of Strength and Seeds of Crisis in the Italian Political System

The Italian Economy: Competitiveness in an Enlarged European Market

Italy and the European Union

The Question of Institutional Reform

An Uncertain Future

Part 5: Sweden
5.1 The Context of Swedish Politics
Sweden’s Welfare State

Long-term Social Democratic Dominance

Neutrality and Internationalism

Globalization and European Integration

Contrasting Views of Swedish Achievements

Geography, Resources, and Population

Early Political Development

Democratization and Industrialization

Political Culture: Constants and Change

5.2 Where Is the Power?
The Riksdag

The Prime Minister and the Cabinet

The Monarch

Other Institutional Actors

A Consensual Democracy

5.3 Who Has the Power?
Political Parties

Profiles of the Political Parties

Sweden’s Newer Parties

Administrative Elites


Elections to the European Parliament

Governments and Oppositions

5.4 How Is Power Used?
Policy Process

Policy Outcomes

Dealignment and Erosion of the Traditional Swedish Model: A Chronology

Sweden and the European Union

Return of the Nonsocialists to Power

The 2010 and 2014 Elections: Swedish Politics Under Duress

2014 Political Crisis

Restricting Immigration

5.5 What Is the Future of Swedish Politics?
Toward a Cash-Free Society

An End to Neutrality?

A “New Nordic Model”

Part: Russia
6.1 The Context of Russian Politics
A Continent More Than a Country

A Slavic People

The Impact of Communist Rule

Political Development and Democratization

Gorbachev and Perestroika

6.2 Where Is the Power?
The Russian Presidency

Presidential Power in Postcommunist Russia

Electing the Russian President

The Premier and Government

The Duma and the Legislative Process

6.3 Who Has the Power?
Toward Competitive Politics

The Political Parties

Parties and Politics in Postcommunist Russia

6.4 How Is Power Used?
Privatizing the Economy

Foreign and Security Policy

The Commonwealth of Independent States and the East

6.5 What Is the Future of Russian Politics?
An Incomplete Democracy

Human Rights

Part 7: Poland
7.1 The Context of Polish Politics
Geographic and Historical Context

Present-Day Cleavages

Political Culture

7.2 Where Is the Power?
Politics by Trial and Error: Changing Rules With Uncertain Implications

The Institutions of Power

7.3 Who Has the Power?
Parties and the Party System

Other Political Forces at Work

7.4 How Is Power Used?
Three Criteria: Electoral Accountability, Policy Responsiveness, and Policy Effectiveness

Explaining How Power Has Been Used

7.5 What Is the Future of Polish Politics?
Part: European Union
8.1 The Context of European Union Politics
Basic Characteristics of the European Union

Origins of the European Union

From the ECSC to the EEC

British Responses and EFTA

Further Expansion of Membership

Deepening of European Integration

National Wealth

Levels of Economic Development

International Trade

The European Union as a Security Community

The European Union as a Security Community

8.2 Where Is the Power?
Objectives and Levels of EU Competence

EU Institutions

The European Council and the Council of Ministers

The European Council

Qualified Majority Voting

The European Commission

The European Parliament

The Court of Justice of the European Union

The European Central Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Other Institutions


8.3 Who Has the Power?
National Governments as Actors

The Councils as Actors

The European Commission and “Bureaucratic Politics”

European Parliament as Legislator and Watchdog

Private Interests

Citizen Inputs

Influential Individuals

8.4 How Is Power Used?
The Budgetary Process: Precursor to Economic Power


Recipients of EU Funds

Allocation of EU Resources: An Overview

Economic Power and Objectives

EU Cohesion

Regulatory Power and the Single Market

Schengen Agreement

Rules on Competition and State Aids

Social Policy and the Environment

The Euro Area: Achievements and Crisis

Political Power: The European Union as a Global Player

Relations With North America

The Russian Bear and Economic Sanctions

Conflict Over the Ukraine

East European Partnerships

Relations With China

European Neighborhood Policies—Iraq, Iran, and Israel

Common Foreign and Security Policy

Citizenship, Freedom, Security, and Justice

Antiterrorism Policy

Immigration Crisis

Conflict With Turkey

EU Policy Assessment

8.5 What Is the Future of EU Politics?
Managing Economic Harmonization

Pending Enlargement of the European Union

The Russian Dilemma

Challenges to an “Ever-Closer Union”

The EU’s Own Vision of Its Future


“It is a well-written text, with rich historical detail and a good division of history-structure-politics-society in each chapter.”

Johan Eliasson
East Stroudsburg University

“I appreciate the number of countries that are covered in the text as it gives students a good sense of the variety of types of political systems within Western Europe.”

Debra Holzhauer
Southeast Missouri State University
Key features


  • Coverage of critical topics in European politics introduce students to key social and political issues including globalization, terrorism, immigration, gender, religion, and transatlantic relations.
  • Updated scholarship, photos, graphs, and tables illustrate recent election results and demonstrate current political trends in each country and the European Union.



  • Consistent, easy-to-use chapter organization with a clear theme focused on power lends itself to both country-based and thematic approaches based on major topics in comparative politics.
  • Rich scholarship, data and pedagogy help students comprehend the concepts with by reinforcing the content through figures, tables, photos, and discussion questions. 

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 8: European Union

For instructors

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