Magazine article Foreign Affairs

Recent Books: Western Europe: Political Conflict in Western Europe/The Politicization of Europe: Contesting the Constitution in the Mass Media

Magazine article Foreign Affairs

Recent Books: Western Europe: Political Conflict in Western Europe/The Politicization of Europe: Contesting the Constitution in the Mass Media

Article excerpt

Political Conflict in Western Europe BY HANSPETER KRIESI, EDGAR GRANDE, MARTIN DOLEZAL, MARC HELBLING, DOMINIC HOGLINGER, SWEN HUTTER, AND BRUNO WUEST. Cambridge University Press, 2012, 368 pp. $36.99.

The Politicization of Europe: Contesting the Constitution in the Mass Media BY PAUL STATHAM AND HANS-JORG TRENZ. Routledge, 2012, 208 pp. $135.00 (paper, $44.95).

The political history of European countries is traditionally told in terms of a small number of significant, divisive issues. These issues emerged successively-first religion, then class, and more recently "postmaterialist" values, such as the environment-creating points of identification for voters and fault lines of conflict among political parties. They persist to this day and get layered on top of one another, defining the uniqueness of each country's politics.

Recently, some political scientists have claimed that a new and enduring cleavage has formed around globalization, a matter that has been of surprisingly little concern to European voters for the past half century. Those hurt by international economic integration now mobilize around issues such as immigration and European integration. …

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