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Foundations of European Politics

A Comparative Approach

Catherine E. De Vries, Sara B. Hobolt, Sven-Oliver Proksch, and Jonathan B. Slapin

01 May 2021

ISBN: 9780198831303

336 pages

In Stock

Price: £37.99

An analytical approach to the study of comparative European politics with a unique focus on the interaction between national and European-level politics.


With its coherent analytical framework and accessible style, Foundations of European Politics: A Comparative Approach introduces students to important tools of social science and comparative analysis.

  • Adopts a social scientific approach, introducing students to the important theoretical and empirical tools necessary to compare and analyse democratic politics in Europe.
  • Provides comprehensive coverage of political institutions, political behaviour and voters, and selected important policy outcomes.
  • Breakout boxes are included in each chapter to go deeper into aspects of European politics, and how to study it. Boxes includes debates about methods and measurement of important concepts, case studies, and academic controversies and debates.
  • Also available as an e-book with functionality, navigation features, and links that offer extra learning support.

About the Author(s)

Catherine E. De Vries, Professor of Political Science, Bocconi University, Sara B. Hobolt, Sutherland Chair in European Institutions and Professor, London School of Economics, Sven-Oliver Proksch, Professor of Political Science and Chair for European and Multilevel Politics, University of Cologne, and Jonathan B. Slapin, Professor of Political Science and Chair for Political Institutions and European Politics, University of Zürich

Catherine E. De Vries is Professor of Political Science at Bocconi University. She is the author of two books on European politics, including Euroscepticism and the Future of European Integration (OUP, 2018) and Political Entrepreneurs (Princeton UP, 2020).

Sara B. Hobolt is the Sutherland Chair in European Institutions and professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is the author of four books on European politics, including Europe in Question (Oxford UP, 2009), Blaming Europe? (Oxford UP, 2014) and Political Entrepreneurs (Princeton UP, 2020).

Sven-Oliver Proksch is Professor of Political Science and Chair for European and Multilevel Politics at the University of Cologne. His research interests include political representation in Europe, party politics, parliamentary debates, and political text analysis.

Jonathan B. Slapin is Professor of Political Science and Chair for Political Institutions and European Politics at the University of Zürich. His current research focuses on European parliamentary and party politics, and his most recent book is Roll Call Rebels (CUP, 2019).

Table of Contents

    Part I: Theoretical Foundations
    2:Democratic Politics
    3:Multilevel Politics in Europe
    Part II: Citizens and Voters
    4:Ideology and Issues
    5:Voting Decisions
    Part III: Elections and Parties
    6:Electoral Systems and Direct Democracy
    8:Political Parties
    9:Party Competition
    Part IV: Governments and Policy
    10:Political Systems and Government Formation
    11:Law-Making in Governments and Parliaments
    12:Policy Outcomes in Europe
    Part V: Rule of Law, Democracy and Backsliding
    13:Rule of Law and Judicial Politics
    14:European Politics into the Future


"Extremely informative and very well structured book stemming from the idea that politics in the EU countries cannot be understood without the study of the interaction with EU institutions." - George Tsebelis, Anatol Rapoport Collegiate Professor of Political Science, University of Michigan, USA

"Foundations of European Politics is the first textbook that looks at supranational and national politics through the same analytical lens. Clearly organized and crisply written, it successfully translates state-of-the-art research into accessible insight. Highly recommended for graduates and undergraduates. A superb volume by four top scholars that will transform how the next generation will think about European politics." - Liesbet Hooghe, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and European University Institute, Florence, Italy

"Authoritative and informed, yet accessible, this excellent introduction to European politics deftly interweaves theory and data. Designed to make readers think for themselves, this book offers a fine introduction to political science more generally, from respected authors who really know their stuff." - Michael Laver, Professor of Politics, New York University, USA

"This is the first textbook that presents a truly integrated comparative political science analysis of national and European level politics, and how these two levels interact to produce the dramatic political, economic, and social developments we have witnessed in recent years. As such, this book will transform how we teach and understand politics across our Continent for many years to come." - Simon Hix, Harold Laski Professor of Political Science, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK

"This book integrates in a sophisticated way theoretical debates in comparative politics and an analysis of contemporary political developments. It provides students with the tools necessary to understand recent political changes occurring both in European member states and at the supra-national European level. It is highly recommended for courses in European politics, party politics and for general courses in comparative politics." - Isabela Mares, Arnold Wolfers Professor of Political Science Yale University, USA

"This book provides an excellent and unique addition to the teaching of comparative European politics. It covers many crucial challenges that European democracies are currently facing, and students will greatly benefit from the empirical focus and hands-on approach throughout the book, which makes for accessible and enjoyable reading!" - Dr Katjana Gattermann, Assistant Professor, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

"Foundations of European Politics is an ambitious, fresh take on European politics that challenges the reader to consider the intersection of theory with empirics." - Dr Chris Burdett, Assistant Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University, USA

"This is an excellent text on European politics in the 21st century, both with regards to its substantive coverage, and its approach to political science and the methods used in the discipline." - Christian Jensen, Associate Professor, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA

Additional Resources

Digital formats and resources

Foundations of European Politics is supported by online resources and is available for students and institutions to purchase in a variety of formats.

The e-book offers a mobile experience and convenient access along with functionality tools, navigation features and links that offer extra learning support: www.oxfordtextbooks.co.uk/ebooks

The online resources to accompany the book include:

For students:
- multiple choice questions
- web links
- essay questions
- data descriptions and data exercises (both hosted on www.foundationsofeuropeanpolitics.com)

For registered adopters of the book:
- adaptable PowerPoint slides
- test-bank questions
- figures and tables from the book

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