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.

Concluding Chapter: Party Governance

Concluding chapter: Party governance

In the earlier chapters we have reported on a large number of findings concerning European politics as it appears in the early 1990s. What sense can be made of these often isolated observations concerning state institutions (Chapter 5), the party systems (Chapter 6), the formation and duration of governments (Chapter 7), the public sector (Chapter 8) and political culture (Chapter 9)?

Looking at politics in various countries one may either focus on the differences or one may bring forward the similarities. No two countries are entirely different or completely similar for that matter. In the postwar research on European politics the prevailing approaches have been of the divergence kind, not only in relation to the implications of the existence ...

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