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.

Governments
Governments

In a representative democracy candidates offer policy alternatives to the electorate, whose choices become decisive for the recruitment of the national assembly. Once the electoral outcomes are final and the seats in the legislature have been allocated according to some rule in relation to the votes cast, then the process of forming a government begins. In European politics the political parties put up politicians to the electorate and political parties have the major say in how governments are formed. They may also be critical in bringing down a government before the next regular election.

Government formation in democracies has been much researched especially from a coalition building perspective inspired by game theory (Budge and Keman, 1990; Laver and Schofield, 1990; Laver and Budge, 1992). In ...

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