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European Politics

European Politics
An Introduction

256 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
This comprehensive textbook is the first to go beyond a western European perspective and provide a clear overview of European politics. Authors Jan-Erik Lane and Svante O. Ersson address the similarities of key political features among states in western, central, eastern, northern, and southern Europe and look forward to political developments toward the turn of the century. European Politics provides a thorough analysis of several converging key themes, including the nature of the state, party systems, and the formation of government and public policies. With this approach to economic, social, and political aspects of politics in Europe this major text presents a Europe that--within the context of reform-- transition, and integration, has more in common in the early 1990s than ever before. With a clear thematic structure and helpful discussions of data drawn from 31 countries, European Politics offers both an accessible and genuinely comparative text that will be essential reading for students and researchers alike.
Convergence versus Divergence
Historical Legacies
The Economy
Social Structures
European Integration
Political Institutions
Party Systems
The Public Sector
Political Culture
Concluding Chapter
Party Governance


`The political geography of this textbook is one of its major strong points. It elaborates the scope and content of European politics in a combined West European as well as Central and East European perspective. This dual focus provides the interested reader with a comprehensive overview of economic, social and political aspects of European politics' - Work, Employment & Society

`At last, a text that challenges both the student and the instructor! Not only are all Europe's polities - West, South, East, North and Supra-national (EU) - compared, but the entire analysis rotates around a single theme: are they converging towards a common set of institutions and policies? I will not give away the answer, except to observe that Lane and Ersson marshal a good deal of evidence, making imaginative use of simple statistical tests, and come up with some intriguing and, surely, controversial findings. Recommended to anyone prepared to think seriously about the future of European politics' - Philippe C Schmitter

Stanford University and European University Institute

`The scholarly team of Jan-Erik Lane and Svante Ersson have already provided the field of comparative politics with such important empirically-grounded books as Comparative Political Economy (1990), Comparative Politics (1994), and Politics and Society in Western Europe (1994). In European Politics, Lane and Ersson apply their comprehensive knowledge of European government, economics, and society to produce a short text with a definite thesis: European nations in the 1990s are becoming more alike in state format, party system, pattern of government formation, and public policies. This original and provocative book, which emphasizes the role of parties in shaping national politics and policies, will spark a healthy debate within >comparative politics' - Professor Kenneth Janda, Northwestern University

`It is a considerable achievement to have brought the politics of the whole of the new Europe into a single text. The authors, in examining the political trends across a number of themes, show clearly the substantial differences, but - more significantly - the extent of real convergence. On any reckoning, European Politics represents a breakthrough in comparative analysis' - Gordon Smith, London School of Economics


`An unusual combination of a thoroughly focused book - in the style of Lijphart - and a comprehensive study with qualities of a textbook' - Professor Dr. Klaus von Beyme, Universitat Heidelberg

`The book provides an excellent overview and should prove most useful for a variety of teaching purposes.' - Political Studies

`The authors have presented cogent arguments, supported by rich empirical data, to give a quantitative perspective and macro-picture of European politics. Their assessment and conclusions offer new insights into the region which today presents two different ends of the spectrum - ranging from supranationalism to state making and identity formation. And therein lies the challenge to identify elements of convergence among such a large group of states.... By raising many critical issues, this study opens up opportunities to undertake further research in this area. Well written and well argued, this book is useful to both students and the researchers and it definitely meets a substantial need in the literature of comparative politics.' - International Studies

Jan-Erik Lane

Svante Ersson

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