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.

Social Structures

Social structures

Chapter 2 outlined the profile of the economies of the countries in Europe. The purpose in this chapter is to begin looking at the consequences of the vast economic differences between European countries by examining the social attributes of economic structure. In Chapters 5 to 9 we enquire into whether also political differences between the European countries reflect the substantial divergence between the economies of these countries.

Let us start by asking the following question: What traces of the evolution of a post-industrial society can we find in data about the social structure of the European countries? According to Emile Durkheim societies develop towards an increasingly refined division of labour which puts pressure on social cohesion (Durkheim, 1964, 1970). To him, writing at ...

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