We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

The European Union: How does it work?

Fifth Edition

Edited by Daniel Kenealy, John Peterson, and Richard Corbett

September 2018

ISBN: 9780198807490

344 pages

New European Union Series

Price: £34.99

The most accessible, concise introduction to the European Union.



As the most concise, accessible guide to the EU, The European Union: How does it work? is an ideal introduction for those coming to the subject for the first time. A leading team of expert scholars cut through the complexity to clearly explain how the EU works in theory and practice, helping you to gain the knowledge and skills you need to succeed.

  • A perfect introduction to the EU for those with little or no prior knowledge of the subject: concise and readable, with coverage of the key actors, policies, and developments in the EU
  • The book has been updated throughout to reflect recent developments in the European Union, with a dedicated chapter on Brexit which considers its impact on the wider EU
  • With an expert line-up combines leading scholars and practitioners with first-hand experience of the EU's institutions, to provide a unique and engaging perspective on how the EU works both in theory and practice
  • Helpful learning features include innovative tools designed to expand and reinforce students' knowledge and understanding, and encourage critical and lateral thinking
  • This text is accompanied by additional online resources designed to take students' learning further
  • Also available as an e-book with functionality, navigation features, and links that offer extra learning support

New to this edition

  • A dedicated chapter on Brexit makes this the only introductory textbook to date to fully engage with this unprecedented development in the EU.
  • Increased coverage of democracy and legitimacy highlights this key area of debate and contestation.

About the Author(s)

Edited by Daniel Kenealy, Lecturer in Public Policy, University of Edinburgh, John Peterson, Professor of International Politics, University of Edinburgh, and Richard Corbett, Member of the European Parliament, former advisor on institutional issues to the President of the European Council

Daniel Kenealy is Lecturer in Public Policy at the University of Edinburgh.

John Peterson is Professor of International Politics at the University of Edinburgh.

Richard Corbett is currently the Member of the European Parliament for Yorkshire and the Humber region, and formerly an advisor on institutional issues to the President of the European Council.

Table of Contents

    Part One: Background
    1:Introduction, Daniel Kenealy, John Peterson & Richard Corbett
    2:How did we get here?, Desmond Dinan
    Part Two: Major Actors
    3:The EU's Institutions, Richard Corbett, John Peterson & Daniel Kenealy
    4:Member States, Brigid Laffan
    Part Three: Policies and Policy-Making
    5:Key Policies, John Peterson with Alberta Sbragia & Francesco Stolfi
    6:How Policies are Made, Daniel Kenealy with Fiona Hayes-Renshaw
    7:Democracy in the European Union, Richard Corbett
    Part Four: The EU and the Wider World
    8:EU Enlargement and Wider Europe, Ulrich Sedelmeier with Graham Avery
    9:The EU as a Global Actor, John Peterson & Niklas Helwig
    10:Brexit and the Future of Two Unions, Daniel Kenealy, John Peterson, & Richard Corbett
    11:Conclusion, John Peterson, Daniel Kenealy & Richard Corbett


"Review from previous edition Nowhere are students in int roductory courses likely to find a clearer and more balanced treatment of the broad institutional design and policy trends of the most successful experiment in peaceful international cooperation in world history." - Professor Andrew Moravcsik, Princeton University

"Review from previous edition An excellent concise introduction to EU politics." - Dr Tobias Nowak, University of Groningen

"Review from previous edition This remarkable text has a lot going for it. What I like best about it is that it uses expert authors' deep understanding to take on contemporary issues that threaten the European Union's nearly 60-year experiment in the pooling of national sovereignty." - Professor Neil Fligstein, University of California Berkeley

Additional Resources

The text is supported by online resources designed to make teaching and learning more effective for both students and instructors. These include the following features:
For students:
- Test your understanding and receive instant feedback with our range of multiple-choice questions
- Revise key terms and test your knowledge of terminology from the book with our digital flashcard glossary
For registered adopters of the textbook:
- Guide class debate with suggested seminar questions and activities
- Adapt PowerPoint(R) slides as a basis for lecture presentations, or use as handouts in class

Related Titles