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Politics and Society in Western Europe
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Politics and Society in Western Europe

Fourth Edition


December 1998 | 400 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
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.

 
Introduction
A Neo-Tocquevillian Approach  
 
PART ONE: CIVIL SOCIETY
 
The Market Economy
 
Cleavages
 
Political Parties
 
Parties and Voters
 
Party Systems
 
PART TWO: GOVERNMENT
 
Decision-Making Institutions
Autonomy  
 
Decision-Making Systems
Influence  
 
European Integration
 
Issues
 
PART THREE: OUTCOMES
 
Political Stability
 
Public Sector Growth and the Welfare State
 
Conclusion

`This fourth edition of Politics and Society in Western Europe remains not only one of the best coursebooks in political sociology I know, but has also been greatly improved. In addition to a complete update in terms of cross-national data and literature, Lane and Ersson have developed an even more lucid structure, based on an elaboration of de Tocqueville's ideas on Democracy and Society. The authors confront these ideas with qualitative and quantitative information on the political process in postwar Europe and thereby provide a wealth of knowledge on European politics and society which is accessible and interesting for students in the political and social sciences' - Hans Keman, Free University, Amsterdam

`Continuously developed, enlarged and updated, Lane and Ersson's book is one of the most useful textbooks ever produced in the discipline. It is a book that one keeps on the desk, or nearby at hand; ready for consultation of its immensely rich tables and data, for rapid excursions in areas and topics outside one's competence, and for quick updating on literature, facts and theories. Reading it all is the best way to get a comprehensive picture of European politics in the last half century' - Stefano Bartolini, European University Institute

`This book skillfully combines a comprehensive survey of new data with theory using longitudinal studies in the tradition of Tocqueville' - Klaus von Beyme, University of Heidelberg

`This is a wonderfully comprehensive and systematic study, covering all

18 West European democracies, and it brims with suggestive ideas and important data. The authors know their subject thoroughly, and they deserve special congratulations for keeping their factual materials so up-to-date' - Arend Lijphart, University of California, San Diego

`This Fourth Edition of Politics and Society in Western Europe remains not only one of the best coursebooks in political sociology I know, but has also been greatly improved. In addition to a complete update in terms of cross-national data and literature, Lane and Ersson have developed an even more lucid structure, based on an elaboration of de Tocqueville's ideas on democracy and society' - Hans Keman, Free University, Amsterdam

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