• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Politics and Society in Western Europe is a comprehensive introduction for students of West European politics and of comparative politics. This new edition has been extensively revised and updated to meet with the new needs of undergraduate students as they come to terms with a changing social and political landscape in Europe.

This textbook provides a full analysis of the political systems of 18 Western European countries, their political parties, elections, and party systems, as well as the structures of government at local, regional, national and European Union levels.

Throughout the book, key theoretical ideas are accessibly introduced and examined against the very latest empirical data on civil society and the state.

Introduction: A Neo-Tocquevillean Approach
Introduction: A neo-Tocquevillean approach

In order to make sense of recent developments in the 1990s in West European democracies we begin by taking a long-term perspective on how democracy has developed in Western Europe since the end of the Second World War. Although the trends described below may appear highly disparate ones, one may go back to the first major theory of modem democracy to find a few clues as to how to present everything in a clear and neat manner. We refer to the analysis of democracy, presented by Alexis de Tocqueville in his two volumes: Democracy in America I-II, the first volume published in 1835 and the second in 1840. We argue that the profoundness of Tocqueville's analysis of modem ...

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