• 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.

Parties and Voters
Parties and voters

The critical role of political parties in democracies was clearly pointed out by Tocqueville:

In democratic countries political associations are, so to speak, the only powerful persons who aspire to rule the state. (Tocqueville, 1990: II, 118)

Party governance is the characteristic regime of West European democracy. In the European scene political parties put up candidates in front of the electorate, which makes regular choices in a multi-party setting. The normal election period is four to five years, but in addition to national elections there are also regional or local elections, which follow the same institutional set-up, i.e. a multi-party system involving open contestation and a relatively high level of participation. One key question when interpreting election results is: how are parties ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles