• 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 Systems: Influence
Decision-making systems: Influence

It is true that Tocqueville placed a very strong emphasis upon decentralization in order to correct democracy's inherent bias towards the tyranny of the numerical majority, but one must add that the concept of decentralization in Tocqueville could find other institutional expressions. He also looked for mechanisms that implied a separation of public powers at the national level. Let us examine the institutions regulating influence upon central government in order to complement the analysis of autonomy in Chapter 6.

Democracies differ not only in the rules of electing parliamentarians but also in the principles adopted for the creation of governments. Citizen influence is not simply a function of the alignment of the electorate along party lines but it is very dependent ...

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