European Democracies

Markus Crepaz / Jurg Steiner  
Total pages
February 2012
Related Titles


Organized thematically rather than country-by-country, European Democracies is an introduction to the politics and governments of Western, Central, and Eastern Europe.


Analyzing European countries from the level of the European Union and from the level of regions, this text surveys issues ranging from parties and policy to democratization and globalization. Throughout, Markus Crepaz and Jurg Steiner treat Europe as a single but diverse entity and ask students to compare what they learn about European politics with the politics of their own country.


Learning Goals


  •        Understand the politics and governments in Europe both regionally and thematically.
  •        Evaluate Europe as a single entity with diverse politics.



  • Organizes coverage by themes and with an emphasis on political institutions and political culture. (ex. p. 13)
  • Incorporates discussion of politics and history from Western, Central, and Eastern Europe.  (ex. p. 47)
  • Examines Europe at the supra-national level of the European Union and sub-national level of regions. (ex. Ch. 14)
  • Makes frequent comparisons between Europe and the United States. (ex. Ch. 1)
  • Helps students understand concepts relevant to European politics and the broader study of comparative politics.


New to this Edition

  • The response of individual European countries and the European Union to the ongoing global economic and financial crisis is compared with the response of the United States. (ex. p. 191)
  • Analysis of the debt crises in Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain, and Italy looks at how the European Union and International Monetary Fund are trying to help. (ex. Ch. 14)
  • A detailed examination of how tensions over immigration resulting from the global financial and economic crisis illuminates a rise in nationalism and a strengthening of the extreme political right. (ex. p. 175)
  • Discussion of recent electoral politics in Great Britain, France, Germany, Switzerland, and elsewhere highlights upcoming changes in those countries' political landscapes. (ex. Ch. 3)
  • Croatia's preparations to become a member of the European Union are contrasted with how ethnic politics in Bosnia-Herzegovina continue to separate the country's population and to undermine national unity. (ex. Ch. 12)

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Becoming Modern in Europe and America: Different History, Different Politics

Chapter 2. Political Parties

Chapter 3. Parliaments: How They are Elected and How They Work

Chapter 4. Cabinet Formation and Heads of State

Chapter 5. Courts

Chapter 6. Federalism and Referendum

Chapter 7. Social Movements

Chapter 8. The State and Economic Interest Groups

Chapter 9. Policy Outcomes

Chapter 10. The End of the Cold War

Chapter 11. Transitions to Democracy

Chapter 12. Nationalism and Ethnic Movements

Chapter 13. Power Sharing in Deeply Divided Societies

Chapter 14. The European Union

Chapter 15. Globalization and European Democracies


Markus M.L. Crepaz is Professor of Political Science at the University of Georgia in the School of Public and International Affairs. He is currently the Head of the Department of International Affairs. He was born and raised in Austria. After attending the University of Salzburg from 1982 to 1986, he began his graduate study at the University of California, San Diego, where he completed his Ph.D. in 1992. He has published numerous articles on electoral engineering, European politics, corporatism, and the impact of political institutions on a host of policy outcomes. His current research focuses on the effects of increasing immigration on the willingness of European publics to continue funding the welfare state. His latest book is entitled Trust beyond Borders: Immigration, Identity and the Welfare State in Modern Societies and was published by the University of Michigan Press in 2008. Having lived in both worlds, the Old and the New, gives him a unique perspective from which to teach and research European politics in the United States.


Jürg Steiner is professor emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Bern in Switzerland. He held a 2003-2004 chair position at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. He is the winner of several teaching awards. His most recent publication is Foundation of Deliberative Democracy, Cambridge University Press, 2012. Currently, he works on the potential for deliberative politics in deeply divided societies. Steiner is a Swiss citizen who for 40 years divides his  time between the United States and Switzerland.

Reader Review(s)

“This is a truly comparative textbook. Organized not by countries but by concepts, Crepaz and Steiner stimulate students to reflect on the possible explanations for key differences among European democracies and between Europe and the United States. An excellent basis for creative and vivid class discussions.”-Arend Lijphart, University of California-San Diego

Instructor Resources