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.
The dismantling of Communist institutions in Eastern Europe offered a unique opportunity for institutional redesign. Given the almost universal search for more of democracy it is little wonder that the new governments in Eastern Europe copied political institutions in Western Europe. Institutional convergence looms large in Europe in the 1990s, but the key question is: by how much?
The making of constitutions is the most conspicuous form of institutional design. However, one must be aware of the danger of drawing conclusions about real life institutions from simply reading constitutional documents. The process of implementing a new constitution is far from a top-down one, because constitutional practice as well as institutional inertia limit the possibilities of implementing constitutional blueprints. Moreover, constitutional documents, with their ...