Contemporary European Politics: A Comparative Introduction

Contemporary European Politics: A Comparative Introduction

Contemporary European Politics: A Comparative Introduction

Contemporary European Politics: A Comparative Introduction


In this important new introductory textbook, José Magone provides an accessible and comprehensive introduction to contemporary European politics.

The unification of the European continent since the Fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 and the collapse of communist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe has changed the nature of European politics. This book seeks to address the new European politics that emerged out of this coming together of West and East.

Utilizing a pan-European comparative approach the book:

  • covers key topics, with chapters on the history, theory, institutions, parties and party systems, interest groups, systems of interest intermediation and civil society, the impact of European public policy and the emergence of a European common and foreign policy
  • provides detailed comparisons of the national political systems across Europe, including Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans
  • contextualises national politics in the growing importance of European integration
  • examines the European Union multi-level governance system approach, highlighting relationships and interactions between the global, supranational, national, regional and local levels
  • analyses the change from modern politics, in which the nation-state was still in command of domestic politics and its own borders, to postmodern politics in which de-territorialisation , de-nationalisation and internationalisation processes have transformed the national politics of European states
  • facilitates learning through a wide range of pedagogical features, including chapter summaries, guides to further reading, questions for revision and extensive use of maps, figures, case studies and tables.

Richly illustrated throughout, this work is an indispensable resource for all students and academics of European politics.


This book is based on my extensive research on European politics, both for comparative publications and for my fifteen years of teaching in this area. Two teaching modules that I delivered in the Department of Politics and International Studies, entitled ‘Conflict and Consensus in European Politics’ and ‘Diversity and Convergence in European Politics’, provide the basis for this book. Many of these topics were included in lectures and tutorials. I also had the opportunity to continue to teach aspects of European and European Union politics at my new position in Berlin. The two academic environments have enhanced my understanding of European politics. In Hull, I had the privilege of teaching students in a variety of different fields, such as Politics, European Studies, Business Studies, History, Law and Economics. Owing to the success of the two modules on which this book has been based, I also developed a lighter-weight free elective called ‘Comparative European Politics’ for students from other faculties in Hull. Many of these students’ ideas have been included in this book. I was very privileged to gain such an insight from students in both Hull and Berlin. I want to thank all my students for contributing to exciting discussions about European politics, particularly in the dynamic tutorials.

This book profited immensely from the Brynmor Jones Library in Hull and the Staatsbibliothek at the Potsdamer Platz in Berlin. Both libraries have facilitated my work; for European politics it is essential that libraries are up to date because of the richness and diversity of the continent itself, a continent that is constantly reinventing itself and in which each country provides a wealth of different experiences. A pan-European academic community is contributing to our better knowledge of European countries, and this book attempts to give a comparative overview of European countries from a pan-European perspective. It takes into account the growing importance of the European Union, and that national sovereignty is being replaced by post-sovereign forms of cooperation and integration. This book can only be a modest introduction to the richness and diversity of European politics and I take full responsibility for any errors or omissions in the book. In spite of this, I hope it can offer a interesting and absorbing introduction to students of European politics, and inspire further innovative research in this area.

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