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Institutions of the European Union

Fourth Edition

Edited by Dermot Hodson and John Peterson

January 2017

ISBN: 9780198737414

496 pages

In Stock

New European Union Series

Price: £34.99

The most comprehensive textbook entirely dedicated to the EU's institutions, providing students with everything they need to know about the functions, powers, and composition of any EU institution.



This book is the key text for anyone wishing to understand the functions, powers, and composition of the EU's institutions. From the Council of Ministers to the European Central Bank, all of the most important organizations are analysed and explained by international experts, providing students with everything they need to know.

  • The only up-to-date textbook entirely dedicated to the institutions of the EU, offering students a definitive guide to their functions, powers, and composition.
  • A team of leading experts, including both academics and practitioners, provide authoritative coverage of all of the key institutions.
  • Each chapter includes helpful features such as boxes, useful websites, and suggested further reading to aid student learning.
  • Takes account of the dramatic institutional changes in the EU that have occurred after the euro crisis, the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, and the rise of Euroscepticism.

New to this edition

  • Fully updated to cover the institutional changes prompted by the eurozone and migration crises, the UK's decision to leave the EU, and many other challenges.
  • A new introductory chapter explores broad trends in the EU's institutional development and theoretical perspectives thereof.
  • An increased focus on institutional theory is picked up on in all chapters, including in a substantially revised concluding chapter that examines the future of EU institutions during a period of unprecedented economic and political turmoil for the Union.
  • The addition of a number of new contributors ensures that the book continues to bring together the foremost scholars in the field.

About the Author(s)

Edited by Dermot Hodson, Reader in Political Economy, Birkbeck, University of London, and John Peterson, Professor of International Politics, University of Edinburgh

Table of Contents

    1:Theorizing EU Institutions: Why They Matter for Politics and International Relations, Dermot Hodson and John Peterson
    2:The History of EU Institutions: Six Decades of Institutional Change, Renaud Dehousse and Paul Magnette
    PART I Providing Direction
    3:The European Council: A Formidable Locus of Power, Philippe de Schoutheete
    4:The Council of Ministers: Conflict, Consensus, and Continuity, Fiona Hayes-Renshaw
    5:The College of Commissioners: Supranational Leadership and Presidential Politics, John Peterson
    6:The European Parliament: The Power of Democratic Ideas, Michael Shackleton
    7:The Court of Justice: European Integration and Judicial Institutions, Niamh Nic Shuibhne
    Part II Managing the Union
    8:The Commission's Services: A Powerful Permanent Bureaucracy, Liesbet Hooghe and Christian Rauh
    9:The European Central Bank: New Powers and New Institutional Theories, Dermot Hodson
    10:European Agencies: Managing Europeanization, R. Daniel Kelemen and Giandomenico Majone
    11:The Court of Auditors and OLAF: The Politics of Financial Accountability, Brigid Laffan
    Part III Integrating Interests
    12:Police and Judicial Cooperation: Integrating Security Interests, Andrew Geddes
    13:The Common Foreign and Security Policy: Institutionalizing Europe's Global Role, John Peterson and Niklas Helwig
    14:Coreper: National Interests and the Logic of Appropriateness, Jeffrey Lewis
    15:European Parties: A Powerful Caucus in the European Parliament and Beyond, Tapio Raunio
    16:The Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of Regions: Integrating Social and Regional Interests, Charlie Jeffery and Carolyn Rowe
    17:Conclusion: EU Institutions in Theory and Practice, John Peterson and Dermot Hodson


Review from previous edition An excellent advanced and detailed study of the EU's institutions. - Prof. David Phinnemore, Queen's University Belfast

This is an excellent text book written by eminent scholars with academic and practical experience. - Prof Christian Kaunert, University of Dundee

Lucid, comprehensive and substantive... combines invaluable description with perceptive and sophisticated analysis. - Prof Alberta Sbragia, University of Pittsburgh

The Institutions of the European Union, now in its updated, fourth edition, provides an excellent critical introduction to the EU's institutions, old and new. Dermot Hodson, John Peterson, and many of the world's leading EU experts lucidly introduce and interrogate the histories of the EU's institutions, their strengths and dysfunctions, and the ways in which they are changing and adapting to the EU's many contemporary crises. - Prof Mark A. Pollack, Temple University

Additional Resources

Our European Union Politics Resource Centre accompanies this book online.

Dermot Hodson and John Peterson discuss some of the key themes of the book in a short video. Click here to watch the video.

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