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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

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