• 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.

Decision-Making Institutions: Autonomy
Decision-making institutions: Autonomy

Government institutions afford mechanisms for the making of collective choice. These mechanisms constitute arenas in which groups – politicians, judges and bureaucrats – act and deliberate upon the needs and wishes of civil society resulting in the decisions and actions of political elites. In Chapters 6 and 7 we analyse political institutions for social choice. We suggest that the constitutional fabric of the West European states may be analysed along two fundamental axes: autonomy and influence.

In Tocqueville's view, democracy in government is the application of the principle of the sovereignty of the people in the form of majority rule. And his great problem is to identify mitigations to the risk of tyranny by the majority. One of the major sources of ...

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