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Politics in the European Union

Fifth Edition

Simon Bulmer, Owen Parker, Ian Bache, Stephen George, and Charlotte Burns

18 August 2020

ISBN: 9780198820635

632 pages

In Stock

Price: £37.99

The most complete textbook on European Union politics, created to introduce you to everything you need to understand the EU.



Accessible and engaging, this is a complete guide to the past, present, and future of the European Union. An expert author team examine in detail the theory and history behind the EU, before moving on to explore the institutions and policies at work, giving readers a valuable insight to this complicated political body.

  • An accessible yet thorough guide to the history, theory, institutions and policies of the European Union, ideal for those studying the European Union for the first time
  • An expert author team uses clear, straightforward language to ensure that students fully understand the complex functions of the EU
  • Features four chapters dedicated to theory, each including a range of examples of the practical workings of the EU, to help you apply theoretical perspectives to the real world of politics
  • Also available as an e-book with functionality, navigation features, and links that offer extra learning support

New to this edition

  • New insights boxes help to deepen your understanding of current developments and the latest issues in the EU, from 'Dieselgate' to The European Green Deal, and migrant arrivals
  • A fully updated chapter on 'The EU in Crisis' explores Brexit, the Refugee crisis, and the rise of populism in EU member states
  • New end-of-chapter questions help you to form opinions and perspectives on key issues, and build critical thinking skills
  • A revised chapter on the Environment and Climate provides a comprehensive overview of the EU's response to the climate crisis, and developments in environmental policy
  • A substantially revised chapter on Policies and Policy-Making provides valuable insights on the EU's policy portfolio, the 'policy cycle', and a selection of policy areas
  • New author Charlotte Burns, Professor, University of Sheffield, joins the writing team to bring new expertise and insight to the fifth edition

About the Author(s)

Simon Bulmer, Professor of Politics, University of Sheffield, Owen Parker, Lecturer in European Politics, University of Sheffield, Ian Bache, Professor of Politics, University of Sheffield, Stephen George, Emeritus Professor of Politics, University of Sheffield, and Charlotte Burns, Professor, University of Sheffield

Simon Bulmer is Professor of European Politics at the University of Sheffield. He has published numerous books, articles and book chapters on the EU. The most recent books are Germany and the European Union: Europe's Reluctant Hegemon? (with William Paterson, Macmillan 2019), and The Member States of the European Union (with Christian Lequesne, OUP 2020). He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.

Owen Parker is Senior Lecturer in European Politics at the University of Sheffield. He is the author of Cosmopolitan Government in Europe: Citizens and Entrepreneurs in Postnational Politics (Routledge, 2013), and co-editor of Crisis in the Eurozone Periperhy: The Political Economies of Greece, Spain, Ireland and Portugal (with Dimitris Tsarouhas, Palgrave, 2018) as well as numerous articles on the EU, European politics, and political economy. He previously worked for the European Commission on enlargement policy.

Ian Bache is Professor of Politics at the University of Sheffield. His EU-related books include: Multi-level Governance (with Matthew Flinders, 2004); The Europeanization of British Politics (with Andrew Jordan, 2006); and Europeanization and Multi-level Governance (2008). His more recent research focuses on the politics of wellbeing. He was awarded Fellowship of the Academy of Social Science in 2014.

Stephan George is Emeritus Professor of Politics at the University of Sheffield. He has authored, co-authored, and edited many books on the politics of policy-making in the European Union, and on British policy towards the EU, as well as numerous articles in journals and chapters in edited books. He is a former Chair of UACES, the UK's academic association for Contemporary European Studies.

Charlotte Burns is a Professor of Politics at the University of Sheffield. Her recent projects involve analysing the impacts of Brexit on UK and EU environmental policy and the impact of the global financial and economic crisis upon EU environmental policy. Her research has appeared in a range of leading journals including the Journal of European Public Policy, the Journal of Common Market Studies and Environmental Politics.

Table of Contents

    Part One: Theory
    1:Theories of European Integration
    2:Theories of EU Governance
    3:Theorizing Consequences
    4:Critical Perspectives
    Part Two: History
    5:From the End of the War to the Schuman Plan (the Late 1940s to the Early 1950s)
    6:The 'Other' European Communities and the Origins of the European Economic Community (the Early 1950s to the 1960s)
    7:The First Years of the European Economics Community (the 1960s and into the 1970s)
    8:The Revival of European Integration (the Mid-1970s to the Late 1980s)
    9:Maastricht and Amsterdam (the Late 1980s to the Late 1990s)
    10:From Amsterdam to Lisbon (2000-09)
    11:The EU in Crisis (2009-19)
    Part Three: Institutions
    12:The Institutional Architecture
    13:The European Commission
    14:The European Council and the Council of the European Union (EU)
    15:The European Parliament
    16:The Court of Justice of the European Union
    17:Organized Interests
    Part Four: Policies
    18:Policy Making and Policies in the European Union
    19:The Single Market
    20:Economic and Monetary Union
    22:Environment and Climate
    23:Freedom, Security, and Justice
    24:Trade and Development Aid
    25:Common Foreign and Security Policy


"This latest edition is particularly useful in that it includes chapters on the subject area that students of EU Studies often find to be the most difficult and troublesome of all, namely integration theory. [This] is particularly useful not only because, unlike the contents of several competing texts, it is actually present, but also because it includes valuable descriptions and explanations of the historiography of European integration theory (which can be something of a mystery to EU newcomers), but also clear and lucid accounts both of the nature of already well-established theories, including intergovernmentalism and neofunctionalism, and also of new and emerging theoretical approaches, notably constructivism, critical political economy, and feminism." - Neill Nugent, Manchester Metropolitan University, IEUSS Review of Books, January 2021

"This is simply the best introduction to the EU and European integration currently available - a wonderful entry point for students who seek both broad-ranging coverage and deep knowledge of the subject." - Ben Rosamond, Professor of Politics, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

"Everything students need to know, and often don't even know to ask, can be found in this highly accessible, highly readable introduction to the Politics of the European Union." - Vivien A. Schmidt, Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration, Boston University, USA

Additional Resources

Digital formats and resources

Politics in the European Union 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 This textbook is accompanied by a range of online resources including:

Student Resources:
- An interactive map providing social and political facts about each EU member state
- An interactive timeline showing the history of European integration
- A bank of self-marking multiple choice questions with immediate feedback
- Flashcard glossary
- Web links
- Transnational political groups in the 2014 European Parliament
- Supplementary material explaining recent updates on Brexit

Lecturer Resources:
- PowerPoint slides
- Essay questions
- Seminar questions
- Boxes, figures, and tables

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