• 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.


Societal problems must be politicized before they can affect political institutions; and the politicization of problems to be handled by the public sector may be a viable method for the peaceful settlement of profound social cleavages. Issue-making and issue-resolving may be a method for the reduction of tensions in society. How could there be conflict management without a continuous process of politicization? How could there be political stability without issue-making and issue-resolving? Yet issue-making may also threaten political stability and can even result in political system crisis or even destruction. Decision-making processes in political systems focus on so-called issues, which are of crucial importance in shaping electoral choice, party outcomes and legislative as well as executive decision-making.

In democratic politics groups engage in collective action ...

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