• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The European Union (EU) poses quite profound questions for scholars and students of the social and political sciences. This benchmark Handbook is designed to provide an authoritative state-of-the art guide to the scope of the field suitable for both established scholars and students of the EU; reflect and contribute to the debates about the nature of the field of EU studies and EU politics in particular; and explore in detail the development of the many approaches to the study of EU politics. Divided into four sections, the Handbook focuses on theorizing European integration; the EU as polity; politics and policy making in the EU; and the EU and the international system.

The European Union as a Polity (I)
The European Union as a polity (I)
Introduction

Since the work of Max Weber and others at the start of the twentieth century, it was almost universally accepted that politics and government could only take place within a ‘state’: a hierarchical political organization, with the sovereign power to make and enforce decisions on a (preferably) homogenous society. A century later, these ideas now seem rather quaint! The Weberian state largely existed in a particular geographic region of the world (the far western periphery of the Eurasian continent) and in a rather short period of human history (from the seventeenth to the mid-twentieth centuries). And, with the global devolution of power to regions, localities and non-state organizations, and the delegation of ...

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