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.
Chapter 8: European Integration
Having surveyed the institutions of the nation states of Western Europe, we must pay attention to the European Union, which is more than an international regime. Its legal order is truly a supra-state order, which is valid immediately and directly in the member states (Toth, 1991). In the earlier chapters we focused mainly on the variation in political phenomena in West European countries. Striking as these differences are in terms of cleavages, party systems and government institutions, a major development in Western Europe is the strong integration movement in spite of severe historical conflicts between some of these countries (Pryce, 1987; Urwin and Paterson, 1990). Are we witnessing the coming of a true federal state in Western Europe? Perhaps a future United ...