1 Becoming Modern
Ch. 2 Political Parties
Ch. 3 Election Systems
Ch. 4 Cabinet & Heads
Ch. 5 Courts & ECJ
Ch. 6 Federalism & Ref
Ch. 7 Social Movements
Ch. 8 State & Econ Interests
Ch. 9 Policy Outcomes
10 End of Cold War
Ch. 11 Transitions to Democracy
Ch. 12 Nationalism & Ethnicity
Ch. 13 Power Sharing
Arranged topically rather than country-by-country, this book examines the political institutions of Western, Central, and Eastern European, offers an emphasis on the nation state, and provides strong attention to the both the “supranational” level of the European Union and “subnational” level of regions.
With his new co-author, Markus Crepaz, Jurg Steiner has brought this best-selling text completely up-to-date. Using a comparative approach, the text crosses national and political boundaries in its coverage of Europe. Starting with detailed coverage of the basic differences between Europe and the United States in a new introductory chapter, the revision puts Europe in a global perspective and no longer divides its coverage between Western and Eastern Europe: Europe is now treated as a single entity.
Ways Europe differs with America – - Socialist parties have a real presence in legislatures
- The Welfare State is highly developed. They spend a larger amount of GDP on social programs (health care, housing, etc.) and take in higher taxes.Reasons for difference –
- Highly Unionized Workforce - average union density in EU was about 43% compared to 13% in U.S.
- Paternalism - the government plays a larger role. Government is a facilitator and protector.
- Class Matters, social class is important. Identity is connected to social class; students are channeled into class-based categories, either to vocational training or higher learning.
- Spirituality plays a significant role in America, whereas Europe is becoming increasingly more secular.- Absence of Feudalism in America - Feudalism established a rigid class structure which stayed throughout the Industrial Revolution.
- Relative Early Affluence - American workers gain affluence (wealth) earlier than their European counterparts.
- The Disintegrative Forces of Immigration – Ethnic diversity in the U.S. was a stumbling block to unions and socialist parties. A diverse labor force was created.
- Frederick Jackson Turner’s Frontier Thesis—The free land and opportunity that the west brought kept disgruntled workers in the East from becoming revolutionaries.
- American Sectarianism – In the U.S. most believers adhere to a sect (denomination) rather than churches like Europe. “…The congregational nature of American sects fostered…individual, and populist values that located the purpose of religious organization not in arguing for social reform but for the spiritual satisfaction of the individual.” European churches were connected with the state and emphasized the community. Americans are workaholics—believe the individual can better him/herself.
- Racial Heterogeneity in America – Community and social solidarity help to fuel the welfare state in Europe. Citizens pay higher taxes to take care of those who are like them. However, America is diverse and this is not the case. People don’t want to volunteer their own money to assist those who are not like them.
Origins of Political Parties
Steiner 2: Political Parties -- notes from 5e
Amanda Spiegel, Fall 2006
Political parties are essential to a democracy. Political parties differ on more than a left to right classification, and now operate in a multidimensional political space.
Functions of Political Parties
-parties structure the popular vote
-parties recruit leaders for public office
-parties formulate public policy
-parties organize the flow of power
Differences between Political Parties and Interest Groups
-Parties concerns are public in nature, while interest groups politics are less transparent.
-Parties candidates stand for election.
-Parties are publicly financed, where interest groups are generally not.
The Socialists strongly believe in social responsibility of others. They feel that the gap between the rich and the poor is too great and wish to narrow this gap. It is a belief that the state must intervene in the economy if more equality in society is to be achieved. Intervention isn’t an obstacle but a precondition for effective democracy.
Examples: US- similar to the liberals; Germany- Social Democrats; Great Britain- Labour, France- Socialist.
European liberals believe in the importance of individual freedom in every aspect of life. They are the most free-market oriented among European parties. European Liberals believe that abortion and other issues should be left to the individual. European liberals emphasize the less intervention; the better, but also understand some regulations are necessary.
Examples: Germany- Free Democrats
Conservatives attempt to preserve the structure of authority in society. Among Conservatives, there is the belief that individuals need guidance, and that this is accomplished by strict government regulation. Conservatives focus on the natural order of society, and believe that some people will always be economically more successful than others, and also encourage a strong national identity.
Examples: Britain- Conservatives (Tories & Whigs), Sweden- Moderate Unity, Greece- New Democracy, Spain- Popular Alliance
Christian Democrats are rooted in conservative ideas, but also promote social programs based on Christian doctrine. They are often paired with other conservative parties, but, because of the emphasis on social programs are viewed as center parties.
Examples: Germany & Netherlands: Christian Democrat
New Radical Right
The New Radical Right is often viewed as a protest party, and defined by what it is against. It is often labeled as Neofascist. They believe that a centralized state will demonstrate leadership in the economy. They advocate against unnecessary social programs that assist immigrants, drug addicts, homosexuals, the homeless, etc. They are opposed to high taxes.
Examples: France- New Front
The Greens promote a limited economy as contributing to the environment. It believes that material goods should not be the primary focus, but self-actualization. They focus not on the GDP, but rather the quality of life. They favor policies such as new energy taxes to limit energy consumption and pollution and cuts in the work week to assist the unemployed.
Regional parties defend the interest of a border boundary against the interest of the center of the country. Within Europe, the importance of regional parties has increased.
Examples: UK- Scottish National Party, and others in Wales and N. Ireland; Italy- Northern League; Spain- Basque, Catalan, Andalusian regional parties, etc; Belgium- Flemish and Walloon parties; etc.
A Multidimensional Political Space
The political parties of Europe can be divided on this multidimensional political space, although it is a complicated process to categorize every party. The author poses the question, “Have the terms left and right become useless?” Some say that they still identify left and right in relation to economics, where others say the left is concerned with post material values and the right concerned with material values.
Stability and Change of Parties and Party Systems.
The term party doesn’t refer to an individual party, but rather a set of parties and their relationship to each other. Over the past twenty years, voter turnout has declined in European democracies. The party of nonvoters has become one of the largest parties in many European countries. In 2002 election of France, it is believed that more than 40% of voting age did not vote.
It is noted that when analyzing European democracies, we need to think in terms of a multidimensional political space to understand the location of the various political parties.
Chap. 2 Political Parties -- notes from old 4e
Sierra R. Turner, 2004
In Western Europe the socialists correspond closely to the Liberals in the United States. Both Western European Socialists and the American Liberals stress social responsibility for the well-being of others. Term is derived from the Latin root word socius- a comrade or fellow. In the United States the word Socialist has a negative connotation dating back to the Civil War.
Socialists see the gap between the poor and rich as being too great. A major goal of Socialist party is to narrow this gap arguing that the fruits of democracy can be enjoyed only by people who have a sufficient level of economic security. According to Socialist thinking, the state must intervene in the economy…..
European Liberals are the most free-market-oriented among European political parties…. In Europe, liberal and free are used as synonymous. The historical roots of European liberalism go back to early modern Europe- the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries. According to Liberal thinking in the European sense, the less state intervention, the better. Liberals in Europe also acknowledge that some regulations for moral behavior are necessary, especially for adolescents.
Conservatives believe that individuals are lost if they are not embedded in a firm structure of authority. According to Conservative thinking, individuals are by nature weak and need guidance. Conservatives advocate relatively strict guidance in such matters as abortion and drug abuse. Conservatives stress the importance of national identity.
Christian Democrats are often lumped together with Conservative parties and they stress the need for social and family programs so much that they are not considered to be parties of the political right but are thought of as center parties.
The environmental Green party made its appearance on the European political scene during the late 1970s and early 1980s. A third dimension is necessary to define the political position of the Greens. This dimension ranges from material to postmaterial and was introduced by political scientist Ronald Inglehart.
Membership in a European political party is quite different from membership in the United States. Americans reveal their party identification by registering, voting in general elections, and answer opinion surveys, but they do not formally join a party as they would a professional association or a service club, by paying annual dues and carrying a membership card.
U.S.– close to the liberals
Steiner Ch. 2 Political Parties
in Western European Democracies -- notes from old 3e
(by Margaret Enfinger, 2000)
France– Socialist party
Netherlands– Labour party
Germany– Social Democrat party
Great Britain– Labour
-take social responsibility for the well being of others
-want to extend help to all needy members of society
-in Europe, they are firmly committed to democracy
-want to narrow the gap between rich and poor, or else it is not truly democratic. Since the poor are constantly worrying about food and shelter, they can’t participate in political life, which leaves a large section of the population not represented at all.
-state intervention is necessary for effective democracy. The market would widen the gap
between the rich and poor.
-economic growth– good if fairly distributed? or are side effects of growth so negative that they may put the human race in jeopardy?
-direct intervention: nationalize private companies
-indirect: tax laws, social programs, and/or regulation of private companies
not like U.S. liberals
Germany– Free Democrats
-most free-market oriented among European parties
-emphasize individual freedom in all aspects of life
-don’t like large organizations. They limit individual freedoms.
-person should take responsibility for moral issues themselves (ex: abortion, divorce)
-in US terms: conservative on economic issues and liberal on social issues
Sweden– Moderate Unity
Spain– Popular Alliance
Great Britain– Conservative
Greece– New Democracy
-people are by nature weak and need guidance
-individuals are lost if they are not embedded in firm structure of authority
-the symbols of the state (flag, national anthem) are extremely important and hold strong
-those economically successful should be allowed to keep most of their fruits of success
-afraid of too much competition (would be more willing to bail out a large company that’s
3 ideological divisions within party:
Traditionalism (Tories)-- patriotism, authority, anti-modern attitude toward women, race, abortion, and divorce; covertly racist, believe in capital punishment
Progressive Conservatives (Whigs)-- support the welfare state, regulate markets in interests of consumers and producers
Individualism– reduced government intervention, welfare state undermines self reliance and enterprise, cut taxes, de-regulate businesses, inclined to blame the victim when it comes to explaining the origins of poverty or unemployment
-emphasize social programs based on Christian doctrines
-help the poor and families
France– National Front
New Radical Right:
-a strong state would show leadership in economic matters
-against high taxes, wasteful welfare programs, and arrogant state bureaucracy
-absence of state restraints on individual action
-very nationalistic. They demand that the number of foreign workers and refugees be kept as low as possible.
-racist and sexist and xenophobic
-mainly a protest party
-likely to do well as a European party for a while
-limit economic growth to save the environment and to increase the quality of life
-material goods no longer have the first priority. People should seek fulfillment primarily of their spiritual, ethical, and aesthetic needs.
-leaders of established parties form an oligarchy and have lost touch with ordinary citizens
-would like to have equal participation by all members, no leadership
-the GDP does not reflect stress on human beings and the destruction of nature. The crucial criterion for work must be how much it contributes to the quality of life for human beings, plants, and animals.
-nature must be brought back into equilibrium
-cut work week and abolish overtime. The unemployment rate would decrease.
-impose an eco-tax on all non-renewable energy sources. That energy consumption would decline and would cut pollution.
Swiss Freedom party (Automobile party):
-the car is the ultimate material good. It has to be protected against government interventions by all means. (Even when efforts were made to limit driving for environmental reasons.)
-any limiting measures are unnecessary restraints on the enjoyment of driving a car
Regional parties defend the interests of a periphery against the interests of the center of a
In Europe, membership to a political party is applied for. A person would carry a membership card and pay annual dues. A person can quit a party, but it is considered disloyal if you then join another party.
Many others display party loyalty even without being formal party members.
Chapter 3 Parliamentary Election Systems -- notes from old 4e
Sierra R. turner, 2004
In the U.S. during elections the person that gets the most votes wins. In Western Europe, the simple winner-take-all system in its pure form is used only in Great Britain, where it is called "first-past-the-post". The other Western Europe countries use a wide variety of rules to elect their parliaments.
Like the U.S. Congress, most Western European parliaments have two chambers except for in Sweden where they have a single chamber of parliament.
The winner-take-all system in Great Britain is strongly biased in favor of the two largest parties in a country. For elections of the members of the House of Commons, the country is divided into as many electoral districts as there are parliamentary seats and in each district the candidate who has the most votes win the seats. In British parliamentary elections, third parties are numerically much stronger than in American congressional elections.
Basic principle of party list proportional representation is simple: a party receives parliamentary seats in proportion to its share of the total vote.
For the election of the National Council, the lower house of Parliament, the Swiss modify party list PR in two important ways. The first Swift modification is that, rather than a single, national electoral district. The second Swiss modification is that the voters, not the parties, rank the candidates. The parties merely submit a list of names without rank, usually in alphabetical order.
Germany uses still another of personalized proportional representation. Its main feature is that each German voter has two votes on his or her ballot-the so-called first and second vote. Surveys indicate that most German voters do not fully understand how their complicated electoral system operates.
Voter turnout in Western Europe is generally much higher than in the United States.
Steiner, Chap. 4. Cabinet Formation and Heads of State -- notes from old 4e
Adam Farquhar (2004)
A. There are many differences between US and European Goverment.
1. US has system of checks and balances, while the
European system is controlled by the majority party.
2. "Goverment" in Europe refers to the administration in power.
II. Single party cabinet
A. When a single party gets 50% + 1 of the majority.
B. If a party wins the majority as the opposition, they have a "shadow cabinet" ready to step in.
C. Minority parties voice oppostion in votes of no confidence.
III. Minimal-Winning Cabinets
A. If no party is able to get a majority they form coalitions.
B. The cabinet is made up of members of the coalition parties.
C. Germany has an unwritten rule that the public must
be informed of any potential coalition forming.
IV. Oversized Cabinets
A. When a Cabinet includes more parties than are neccesary to form a coalition.
B. Switzerland fills its cabinet proportionaly.
1. This is further complicated by language.
V. Minority Cabinets
A. When the party or parties making up the cabinet do not
make up a majority in parliament.
B. This happens in Sweden because anyone in parliament can
fill the cabinet seats as long as parlament doesnt vote against you.
VI. Cabinet Instability
A. Italy has traditionaly had an instable cabinet.
1. Although most prime ministers were Christian Democrates, the cabinet was highly contested.
2. Major corruption by all parties.
VII. Heads of State
A. In France and the US, heads of state play role of both head of state and chief executive. This role is separate in most Western democracies.
B. Monarchy has become a pure formality.
C. Elected heads of state try not to get too political.
Chapter 4 cabinet formation and the heads of state -- notes from old 4e
Sierra R. Turner, 2004
In the U.S. the relationship between the legislative and the executive branches of government is characterized by a system of checks and balances.
Most European democracies have a parliamentary system with rules fundamentally different from those of the American presidential system. The major exception is France, which combines a presidential with a parliamentary system under the constitution of the Fifth Republic.
The executive branch in a European parliamentary system in the cabinet, which is headed by a prime minister whose role is very different from that of the U.S. president.
In Great Britain, general elections usually give an absolute majority of seats in the House of Commons to either the Labour or the Conservative party.
Differences between Great Britain and the United States are also striking with regard to the role of the opposition. In Great Britain, as long as the government party does not lose its majority through defections or losses in elections for vacant seats it can pursue whatever policies it chooses.
In a parliamentary system, when no party controls a majority in parliament, the process of cabinet formation is very different from that in Great Britain. One possibility is the formation of minimal-winning cabinets, where as many political parties as are necessary form a coalition to attain a majority in parliament.
Oversized cabinets include more coalition partners than are necessary to attain a majority in parliament. Switzerland is an extreme illustration for oversized cabinets. Oversized coalitions are not unique to Switzerland. Even Great Britain, the classic example of a competitive democracy, went through a period of an oversized coalition during WWII.
Chap. 5: Courts -- notes from old 4e
Liz Arnett, Fall 2004
This chapter shows that the political importance of the courts varies greatly among Western
European countries and that there is a trend for this importance to increase all over Western
For a long time the judicial system in Western Europe was never studied by political scientist.
This was soon changed when two political scientists by the name of Shapiro and Stone took
interest and found that there are two main reasons why this has been occurring.
1. There is a strong commitment in Western liberal-democratic political ideology to the
separation of law and politics, and that the vision of judges as being independent, neutral law
appliers rather than political policymakers.
2. The study of law and courts is, for political scientists, necessarily interdisciplinary.
Both Shapiro and Stone found that in certain policy areas there is so much law and courts
involved that one has no choice but to confront these issues.
Countries of continental Europe have all been influenced by the legal traditions of ancient Rome
where code law prevailed. However Great Britain is different in that it has a tradition of
common law where judges reinterpret old laws to fit new circumstances.
Code law- is typically defined as having multiple bodies of complex categories and
subcategories which give the courts limited discretion in handling particular cases.
Classical code law- is the Napoleonic code system: positive legal commands that judges were
strictly obligated to obey.
Judges were very subservient and judicial review was unheard of during that time.
Obviously, this is very different from the United States where judges have political influence. At
first, Europeans looked at the United States as a bad example, but in the later half of the 19th
century Europeans began to fight for the merits of constitutional judicial review.
Austria was the first European country to introduce constitutional judicial review after World
War I. In the 1970's, after the authoritarian regimes fell in Greece, Spain and Portugal, is when
these countries introduced constitutional courts.
There are two forms of Judicial Review. In the U.S. we have the judicial review that is concrete
in nature in the sense that a real case or controversy is a precondition for judicial review.
However, in Europe they have an addition to this which is the concept of abstract judicial
review, which means that legislative text is reviewed by the constitutional court before the text
Great Britain, on the other hand, has no written constitution in the sense of a single document.
Some rules are codified and others exist only as unwritten customs and conventions.
Instead of being in the hands of Judges, the questions of constitutionality rest in the hands of
The main task of the voters is to elect Parliament. Due to British tradition of giving Parliament
full power, there is no reason for them to have a high court to check the actions of Parliament.
Also there are many commonly accepted rules that protect individual freedoms that date back
to medieval times, and the British assume that no governing party will ever change these
fundamental rules. So the stability of their system is solely based on an element of fair play.
Because Parliament is sovereign, it can do things like nationalizing key industries, and no court
can intervene with the argument that it violates the constitution.
As compared to the U.S., our courts may make a decision that doesn't correspond to the
prevailing public opinion, but is does have the advantage of giving more continuity to the law of
Although Great Britain has no constitutional judicial review, it does have statutory judicial
review. This means that judges have the right and the obligation to review what in a country is
lawful and what is not.
In contrast with Great Britain, Switzerland does have a single document that serves as its
constitution, but like Great Britain, the Swiss courts do not have the right to determine whether
a particular law is constitutional. The people of the referendum make this decision. So the
power is truly given to their people. Voters have a right to call for a popular referendum on
every bill decided by parliament- the only requirement is that 50,000 signatures be obtained.
All constitutional amendments must be submitted to the voters, a minimum of 100,000 voters
can also submit their own constitutional amendment- which does get debated by parliament first
but is finally decided by a popular referendum.
Problems- are when the voters submit a constitutional amendment that contradicts other parts
of the constitution.
Germany has a strong constitutional court due to avoiding the chance of having another
dictatorship. This responsibility was given to their Federal Constitutional Court. The German
court has two units called senates, which have equal power but both work exclusively. The
First Senate decides issues arising out of ordinary litigation and the Second Senate deals with
disputes among branches and levels of government.
They are the most active and powerful constitutional court in Europe.
Both Shapiro and Stone believe that this shift towards constitutional courts is [caused by] the waning in confidence in technocratic government and planning, and a consequent desire to restrict
discretionary power of the state. In other words, they think that these courts can remedy
abuses of political power.
Steiner 4 Courts & ECJ -- notes from old 4e
Sierra R. Turner, 2004
Courts were long neglected by political scientists studying Western European countries….
According to Shapiro and Stone there are two reasons for this:Courts conduct themselves in a specialized, professional technical discourse that is relatively distinct from normal political discourse.
There is a strong commitment in Western liberal-democratic political ideology
to the separation of law and politics and to vision of judges as independent, neutral law appliers rather than political policymakers. To study law and courts as part of the politics can appear iconoclastic and subversive.
The study of law and courts is, for political scientists, necessarily interdisciplinary.
Great Britain, unlike the other European countries that are all influenced by the legal tradition of ancient Rome where code law prevailed, has a tradition of common law, where judges continually reinterpret old precedents in the light of new circumstances.
In the U.S. judges have always had great political influence and in particular the authority to overturn as unconstitutional decisions of the other branches of government.
In the U.S. judicial review is of a concrete nature in the sense that a real case or controversy is a precondition for judicial review to take place. Judicial review in this concrete sense is known in Europe along with the fact that they are also aware of the concept of abstract judicial review.
Britain, unlike the U.S., has an unwritten constitution. The courts apply the law to specific cases, but they have no right to say whether a law is constitutional. Questions of constitutionality rest in the hands of Parliament.
The people give full power to Parliament meaning, according to British tradition; it would be illogical for a high court to check the actions of Parliament. These checks come in the form of an election during which the voters can replace the governing party with the party in opposition if the majority in Parliament interprets the constitution against their wishes.
Switzerland, unlike Great Britain, has a single document that serves as its constitution however, like Great Britain the Swiss courts do not have the right to determine whether a particular law is constitutional.
Germany is a good illustration of a country with a strong constitutional court. Germany’s court structure was heavily influenced by the American occupation authorities, who used the U.S. Supreme Court as a model, however, the German court consists of two units called senates, which have equal power but exercise mutually exclusive jurisdiction.
Generally, there is trend in Western Europe to give us more importance to constitutional judicial review. France and Italy are good examples of this trend.
Chap. 6 Federalism and Referendum -- notes from old 4e
Sierra R. Turner, 2004
Federalism and Referendum both bring political decision making closer to the people. Switzerland is the prototypical case of a federalist country with a strong referendum.
A federalist system of government consists of autonomous units that are tied together within one country. In a federalist government, the individual units are not simply bureaucratic districts of the central government; instead they have their own independent power, which is constitutionally guaranteed.
Swiss federalism has some powerful instruments for the exercise of power by the economically weak cantons. As in the U.S. parliament in Switzerland has a second chamber in which each canton holds two seats regardless of population.
The greatest weakness of referendum as practiced in Switzerland is that unconventional minorities are not sufficiently protected. The greatest strength of the referendum is the legitimacy it gives to political decisions.
Germany consists of 16 Länder. The federal parliament has a second chamber, the Bundesrat, in addition to the Bundestag.
Among the smaller Western European democracies, the federalist trend is most apparent in Belgium….
Great Britain is the country where one most often hears fundamental objections to the referendum. With regard to federalism one hears warnings that public monies may be wasted if each sub national unit tries to solve problems on its own….
Federalism - designation of a union of states in which each member
Chapter 6: Federalism and Referendum -- notes from old 4e
(Rosa L. Porter, 2002)
subordinates power to a centralized authority while maintaining some
autonomy; autonomous units tied together within one country that has a
centralized government; government activities are divided and sometimes
shared between one central govt. and several regional govt's.
Referendum - the submission of a law to the direct vote of the people for
approval or rejection; the individual is allowed to vote on a matter rather
than a representative of a collective group.
Prime example of both at work - Switzerland.
How? - Basic Info about Switzerland
-26 cantons (states or provinces), not divided along linguistic, cultural,
religious, or economic lines.
-no dominant capital within the country; makes it easier to decentralize
-2 chamber parliament, the 2nd has 2 representatives from each canton
regardless of population.
-constitutional amendments are submitted to a referendum, must be accepted
by a majority of voters and a majority or cantons in order to be passed
What has referenda accomplished - positive and negative?
-helps bring unorthodox ideas to public attention.
-helps raise the level of political knowledge or consciousness.
-does not work if voters are uninformed.
-is vulnerable to the effects of propaganda.
-often low voter turnout.
-increased interest of voters.
-minorities can be excluded.
-minorities can also be given consideration.
-can delay legislation to the good (if based on what is trendy now).
-can delay legislation to the bad (if used to keep certain rights exclusive
to one group).
There is a trend within Western Europe toward more federalism and
referenda, but there is also resistance to the expansion of these
institutions for some of the above listed reasons.
Why is this important in the field of comparative govt.?
-more and more countries are making a move in the direction of federalism
and referenda, but it is necessary to maintain proper balance.
-Even though Switzerland is the test case so to speak for the truest forms
of both elements, there is a need for more information so as to be able to
answer the following questions: Are federalism and referenda an effective
way to govern? Do the positives outweigh the negatives? What are the
solutions to the negative aspects? Are there certain characteristics
necessary for both to be most beneficial? If federalism and referenda are
not the best way to govern, then what is and how can that best be
The State as a Political Actor
Chap 8: The State & Economic Interest Groups -- notes from old 4e
Felix Parker (2004)
The difficulties of comparative politics translating certain key concepts from one language to another. State is defined traditionally as governmental institutions built by kings.
Interactions between the State and Economic Interest Groups.
The Theory of Corporatism
Steiner 8 The State and Economic Interest Groups
-- notes from old 4e
Sierra R. Turner, 2004
The concept of the state has a different meaning in Europe than it does in the United States. For Americans, the term refers primarily to the 50 states of the Union and is also used to refer to important political figures with the term statesman. In Europe, the distinction is made between state and politics.
Concept of the state still remains a rather vague term but includes the state bureaucrats. Also refers to norms, values, and historical myths.
Pluralism means that there is a plurality of interest groups, all of which try to influence the decisions of the state. Corporatism is a formal cooperation between the state and the interest groups with the goal of finding mutually acceptable solutions.
Trade unions may try to exercise influence in the workplace so many countries have enacted special laws. Best-known example is the German law on codetermination according to which business must, within certain limits, share power with labor. In other countries—France, Great Britain, and Italy, in particular—labor is opposed to the German model of codetermination, which it sees as pacifying the unions. Sweden, however practices codetermination and has been experimenting with a model in which profits are shared between shareholders and labor since 1983.
Ch. 8 The State and Economic Interest Groups
-- notes from old 4e
(Margaret Enfinger, 2002)
Economic Interest Groups
-special interest groups seek privileges detrimental to the common good of the country
- should be kept to the “lobbies” of the Capitol
Giving voices to special economic interests in the Congress or Parliament could decrease the
chances that decisions will be made for the common good.
-leaders may sit in the national parliament
-much more join the economic interest groups than a political party
-membership fees higher than political parties
It’s better to hear the representatives of economic interests in the open forum of parliamentary
debates. The positions are made clearer to the general public.
-more affluent than the Socialist parties
-in Germany, Great Britain, & Sweden, have single national organization, & most leaders also belong to the Socialist party
-in Switzerland: 3 major union organizations, & they are close to the Socialist and the Christian Democrat parties
-more affluent than the Conservative parties
-close affiliation with the Conservative and Free Democratic parties
White-Collar Employees’ Interest Groups:
-not close to a particular party, but have good relations with all the major parties
-in some countries, have an agrarian party
-in Sweden, the Center party represents farmers’ interests
-in Italy and France, small farmers are Socialists or Communists
-in others, farmers support parties of the political Right
-the state merely listens to the economic interest groups’ demands but then make decisions on its own.
-there is a plurality of interest groups, all of which try to influence the decisions of the state
-the state makes its decisions in common with economic interest groups
-formal cooperation between the state and interest groups with the goal of finding mutually
-now use term Neo corporatism, liberal corporatism, societal corporatism, or democratic
corporatism because of the bad connotation of the other
-the business and labor groups and the government actually meet together to plan
Hanspeter Kriesi says that new social movements "are highly elusive phenomena which are inherently difficult to grasp. He considers a new social movement "to be an organized, sustained, self conscious challenge to existing authorities on behalf of constituencies whose goals are not effectively taken into account by these authorities.
The environmental concern in Europe began in the 1960’s, primarily with regard to water pollution. In the 1970’s the worries began to develop about the environmental impact of nuclear power, with the discussion taking a more fundamental turn. During the 1980’s, the environmental question assumed greater urgency when it began to be publicly reported that many of Europe’s forests would be dead by the end of the century because of air pollution. The fight against air pollution became a prime political issue.
The U.S. has more of its land covered by forest than each of the big four Western European countries. But the latter generate much less waste and pollute less than the U.S. We must also consider the much higher population density in Western Europe.
In Western Europe, associations for the beautification of nature existed long before the general public became concerned about the environment. Traditionally, these associations promoted such causes as the protection of rare plants and animals and the building of foot trails.
The movement against war and peace goes in cycles in European history of the twentieth century.
The women’s movement has had more difficult time in Europe, because individualism is less emphasized than in the U.S. In Europe, the notion that not only individuals but also groups have basic rights is much more common than in the U.S.
The belief that women are not the equal of men has deep roots in European history. Popular culture has had a profound effect on how women should behave. Under the influence of the women’s movement, studies have been done about the 18th and 19th century books on marriage….
That leaders can both be men and women should be expressed more clearly in everyday language is an issue about with which the women’s movement is very concerned.
The women’s movement also has many specific projects, in particular rape crisis centers, houses for battered women, hotels for women, taxis for women, bookstores for women, etc.
If we compare the younger generation in America and Western Europe, the most striking distance is more critical and pessimistic attitude toward the future among young Europeans.
Churches have in common with new social movements the fact that both exercise their political influence in a rather indirect way—and not as directly as political parties and economic interest parties.
In the U.S. bills are usually initiated in Congress but in Western Europe countries most bills originate from the cabinet, which is the executive branch.
In Great Britain and Ireland, the government determines the plenary agenda. In Ireland there are no exceptions to this rule, while in Great Britain there are yearly 20 statutory "Opposition Days" when the parliamentary opposition decides which topics are debated.
In the committee stage of the parliamentary deliberations, the cabinet bills have a strong advantage in Denmark, France, Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, and the Netherlands because the committees are required to report the original bills to the full house and are merely allowed to attach amendments.
Interest groups make a great effort to exercise their influence when bills are prepared in the executive branch. Also, it is customary in many Western European countries for leaders of interest groups to be elected to parliament so that they can do their own lobbying.
One mode by which parliamentary exchanges with interest groups have become institutionalized in most Western European countries is the committee hearing, which takes place most frequently in Finland, Germany, Iceland, and the Netherlands.
The media are also important actors in the political decision process in Western European countries. Their role has changed greatly over time. Western European newspapers are now quite independent of any party affiliation and are characterized by aggressive investigative reporting….
Strong economic performance is most likely to occur under either of the following two conditions:
No attempted democratization in past--> Not close to center of Europe--> Hardline leaders--> Loyal security forces--> late reformer, violence.
Steiner 11 Transitions to Democracy -- notes from old 4e.
Sierra R. Turner, 2004
The crucial step of democratization in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe occurred when the first parliamentary elections took place.
In Hungary, at the time of the first elections Parliament, which was controlled by the Communists, decided that the elections for the presidency should come before the elections of the Parliament. There were four opposition parties that objected this plan— the Free Democrats, the Young Democrats, the Independent Smallholders’ Party, and the Social Democrats. Outcome: Presidential elections were held after the Parliamentary elections.
Poland was at the forefront of the process of democratization along with Hungary. Poland was the first Communist country to have elections with a real choice for the voters. The Communists saw a comeback during the election for reasons which included: 1) the change to a market economy brought for many voters hardship and insecurity, 2) many educated young people, especially women, resented the newly gained strong political influence of the Catholic church, and 3) the fact that they had changed greatly….
Three factors influence the party systems of the individual countries:
The countries in Central and Eastern Europe separate the roles of head of state and prime minister. There were some attempts to reinstate members of old royal families as heads of state but they went nowhere.
- The success of marketization,
- Ethnic homogeneity, and
- Anti-Western nationalism.
The greatest obstacle for further democratization in Central and Eastern Europe are bad economic times. Much progress has been made in the direction of privatization and the free market. In Central and Eastern European countries inflation is generally down, and there are signs that the gross national products may begin to grow again….
Five point scale of agreement/disagreement:
The speed of democratization and marketization in the Central and European countries is very uneven.
- The government acts for the benefit of the majority of society,
- Everyone has an influence on the election of the government,
- People like me have no say in what government does,
- On the whole, what governments do in this country reflects the wishes of
- Elected officials don’t care much what I have to say, and
- There is no point in voting because the government can’t make a difference.
Steiner 12: Nationalism and Identity- Ethnic groups are filled with people sharing a common culture and history. The people in ethnic group fill they have emotional ties even though they may never have met
By Charles Walters, Fall ’06
- When ethnic groups have their own independent states they then are nations
- In multi-ethnic nations, a sense of nationalism is a unifying theme for the cultures
- Nationalism and ethnicity have largely negative consequences:
o Yugoslavia is an example of ethnic troubles? Serbs (Milosevic) were played as aggressors by the mediao Northern Ireland
? 80s & 90s saw the Serbs displaying fierce nationalism and expansionism
? Belgrade tried to prevent Croatia from secession
? The Kosovo story with fierce persecution/manslaughter actually happening on both sides between the Serbs and Croatians? More than 3000 deaths since the 1960s because of the two ethnic groups (British Unionists and Irish Nationalists) were at odds not willing to share the same territory.o The Basque Country? Area in NE Spain and part of southern Franceo Immigration
? The ethnic group of people in this territory spoke a different completely different language from both the French and Spanish
? The Basque were suppressed by both bigger countries
? They formed the ETA (Basque Fatherland and Liberty Group)
? Used terrorism to achieve political goals
? Given a parliament by the Spanish government but the ETA continued
? The parliament said that only the Basque could determine if they wished to be part of Spain or not and they had the right to secede.
? They didn’t secede but the thought of this made the Spanish government unhappy? Immigration is considered good for the most parto Sporting/games
? Has caused problems such as the assassination of Theo Van Gogh
? Fundamentalist immigrants are often unwilling to integrate into societies? can bring ethnic and national groups together to further peaceo Scottish Nationalism under Great Britain
? can also allow nationalism a place for anger to be provoked and accidents to happen? Is an example of where ethnic/national groups have gotten along
Chap. 12 “Nationalism and Ethnic Movements” -- notes from old 4e
Walker Garrett, Fall 2004
A “people” is an ethnic group, a group which has a common culture and a common history.
-Members feel emotional ties, even if there is not a personal connection
-Common attributes of color of skin, language spoken, or religion practiced
-Strive to have independent states and become nations or at least achieve some level of
United States interprets the term ethnic group to mean people who retain an awareness of their
-Experiencing a rebirth of ethnic identity
This is also developing in Europe. Ethic groups may be viewed as separated superficially by
religious, ideological, or other divisions, but while those differences are important, it is the
culture and history which truly separate different ethic groupings.
-Ethno-national refers to ethnic groups seeking independence such as Northern Ireland.
Examples of countries shifting from homogeneous structures or dormant ethic structures to
active nationalism and ethic mobility:-Great Britain -Spain -France -Belgium-Northern Ireland -Catalans -Basques -Walloons
-Wales -Basques -Bretons -Flemish
-Central and Eastern Europe
Why is there a rebirth of ethnic identity in Europe?
-Family and neighborhood ties have broken apart
-Ethnic groups offer firm ties to past
-Hard economic times
-Ethnic groups provide protection and support
Western Europe is decreasing nationalism towards each other while increasing nationalism
towards refugees from 3rd world countries, Central, and Eastern Europe.
-Mattei Dogan uses five indicators to cite a decline in nationalism among Western
European Countries: National Pride, Low Level of Confidence in the Army,
Defeatism, Mutual Confidence, and European Consciousness
-Sixth Indicator is soccer
-Fanatical nationalism boosted by atmosphere of games
Why are refugees getting negative Nationalistic pressure?
-In past, refugees were well educated and easily integrated in population
-Now, less educated, and the European economies are not booming
-They don’t blend well any more, hard to integrate
This has led to subcultures within big cities in Europe, ethnic enclaves within poor
-New multiethnic atmosphere creates hostility in Western Europe
Nationalism in Eastern Europe is considered two to several generations behind Western Europe
due to the lack of independence for an extended period of time among the majority of Eastern
and Central European countries.
The phenomenon of ethnicity implies that a large number of individuals feel and act as one “people”. Such groups often share common ascriptive attributes, such as the color of the skin, the language spoken, or the religion practiced.
Chap. 11: Nationalism and Ethnic Movements -- notes from old 4e
Sierra R. Turner, 2004
Nations may be based on a single ethnicity, or they may be multiethnic. In the latter case, nationalism has to make a bridge between the various ethnic groups.
With regard to nationalism, the patter is mixed. Western European countries tend to have a decreasing amount of nationalistic feelings toward each other, but they show increasing nationalistic attitudes towards refugees from Central and Eastern Europe and the Third World.
Mattei Dogan documented the developing nationalistic feelings among Western European countries and he defines nationalism “as a devotion to one’s country so strong that is dominates all other feelings of collective identity. Dogan uses five indicators to measure the degree of nationalism among Western European countries which include:
1) National pride,
2) Low level of confidence in the Army,
4) Mutual confidence, and
5) European confidence.
In the U.S. the term ethnic group refers to people who retain an awareness of their common background. Polish Americans, African Americans and Italian Americans are examples of ethnic groups.
Spain offers another example of the increased importance of ethnic identities. The Catalans increasingly stress their own culture, based on a language that is not merely a Spanish dialect. The Basques have an ancient language unrelated in any way to Spanish, and they reside not only in Spain but also in France.
I. Development of the Theory of Power Sharing
Chapter 13: Power Sharing in Deeply Divided Societies -- notes from old 4e
Jesseca Holcomb, 2004
A. Arend Lijphart and Gerhand Lehmbrunch coined the term consociational democracy to
draw attention to some smaller European democracies that were being neglected.
B. In 1956, Gabriel A. Almond formed an influential hypothesis that stated, “Culturally
fragmented countries could hope to attain democratic stability if they used consociational, rather
than competitive, decision making.1. Define Culturally fragmented societyC. Culturally Fragmented Societies
2. Clearly distinguish consociational decisions from competitive decision making
3. Understand democratic stability and instability1. The various groups must differ in such ascriptive attributes as race, language, religion, andD. Consociational decision making process over competitive
historical roots.1. Grand coalitions: both subcultures share power in the consociational cabinet.E. Consociational decision making increases the probability of democratic stability in culturally
2. Veto power: decision policing for each subculture on matters involving its essential interests
3. Parliamentary elections, the appointment of public officials and the distribution of public
funds among the subcultures are guided by the principle of proportionality.
4. Autonomy: individual subcultures regulating their own affairs
II. Critique of the Theory of Power Sharing
A. Difficult methodological problem: small number of cases which were great in complexity
B. Decision by interpretation1. Mixture of consocciational and majoritarian decision makingC. ?
2. No explicity consensus in reached but neither is the voting mechanism used to separated the
majority from the minority
III. Northern Ireland
A. Divided into British Protestant Unionists and Irish Catholic Nationalists
B. Democracy in the traditional British way1. This led to the increasing dissatisfaction and frustration among the Irish Catholic populationC. British tried to restore Northern Ireland through a form of consociational power sharing
and outbreak of widespread violence in 19681. Failed because majority of Protestants were not willing to change from majoritarian to aD. Power sharing might still work if other factors were favorable, but they’re not
consociational decision making
2. Catholics reacted with further strife1. Not equal in numerical strengthsE. There is still hope and positive signs for Northern Ireland.
2. No clear territorial boundaries within both Catholic and Protestant leadership
3. Unresolved problems: a desperate economic situation characterized by high unemployment
IV. Former Czechoslovakia
A. Country separated June of 1992 into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.1. Voter turnout reached 96 percent, indicating a strong interestB. Country was split because of major difference during the election and the leaders that
resulted from the election.
C. Separation was the outcome of the power struggle which was ultimately in the political
self-interest of both parties
D. Czechoslovakia was not considered when the consociational theory was originally
developed, but predictions about further developments in Czechoslovakia using consociational
IV. Former Yugoslavia
A. In 1990, Yugoslavia had five to six major ethnic groups and none of them in a majority
B. War broke out after old ethnic rivalries were revived
C. Slovenia and Croatia were the first, based on the principle of self-determination, to declare
independence.1. Because of authorities in the Yugoslav capital Belgrade expressed opposition, theseD. Slovenia voters approved independence
declarations violated the territorial integrity.
E. Croatian tried to follow Slovenia’s pattern but was not able because of Krajina Serbs that
broke out in hostile protest1. Krajina Serbs wanted their own regionF. War broke out in Bosnia-Herzegovina1. Serbs and Croats and Muslims all turned on each otherG. Macedonia was the fourth Yugoslav republic to be granted independence by the U.N.
2. United Nations made efforts to bring peace to Bosnia-Herzegovina
3. Many U.N. soldiers lost their lives1. Greece opposed Macedonia’s independenceH. On October 5, 1995, Bosnia’s warring parties set a cease-fire brought about by the U.S.
The theory of power sharing is also called “consociational theory”. Consociational democracies are contrasted to competitive majoritarian democracies, the latter being characterized by voting mechanism whereby a majority can impose its will on a minority.
Chap.13: Power Sharing in Deeply Divided Societies -- notes from old 4e
Sierra R. Turner, 2004
Crucial concepts of the theory of power sharing:
1) define what is meant by a culturally fragmented society and how it is different
from a culturally homogenous society.
2) consociational decision making must be clearly distinguished from competitive decision making, and
3) establish what was meant by democratic stability and instability.
For a country to be culturally fragmented, the various groups must differ in such attributes as race, language, religion, and historical roots. Such attributes are known as ascriptive attributes, having been present from birth, they are virtually permanent.
Although surveys and intermarriage data may speak to the strength of sub cultural identity, additional data are necessary to determine how a sub cultural identity is expressed in a politically relevant way. To be politically relevant, a sub cultural identity must find some form of organizational expression.
I. Development of the Theory of Power Sharing
Chapter 13: Power Sharing in Multiethnic Societies -- notes from old 3e
Amy Garrett, 2000A. In 1956 Gabriel Almond said that a homogenous political culture was conducive to democratic stability and fragmented political culture led to democratic instability.
B. In 1967 Arend Lijphart and Gerhard Lehmbruch presented the idea of consociational democracy.1. Culturally fragmented countries could hope to become stable democracies if they shared power instead of competedC. Definition of Culturally Fragmented1. Various groups must differ in such attributes as race, language, religion, and historical roots. These are known as ascriptive attributes.D. Differences between consociational and competitive decision making1. Grand coalitions: cabinets share power among all subculturesE. Definition of democratic stability
2. veto power for each subculture on matters involving its essential interest
3. Elections, appointments, and public funding is guided by proportionality
4. Have autonomy in regulating their own affairs.1. A country has a low level of civil violence and disorder
2. Conditions for consociationalism is found on page 270
II. Critique of the theory of power sharingA. Hard to critique because of the small number of cases and the complexity
B. It is hard to measure the effectiveness of consociational method because it isn't just the decision making process that changes.
C. A third decision making type has come about, called decision by interpretation1. Decision by interpretation is a mixture of cosational and majoritarian models.D. The degree of democratic stability is the most problematic to measure.
2. No explicit consensus is reached but neither is the voting mechanism used to separate the majority from the minority.
E. Among all theories recently developed in the political realm cosational is the one most used in trouble spots around the world.
F. If fragmentation is not extreme but high power sharing might be the best choice.
III. Northern IrelandA. Deeply divided by British Protestant Unionists and Irish Catholic Nationalists
B. Has a British style government which has led to dissatisfaction among the Catholics.
C. Power sharing, modeled after Switzerland, was tried in the 1970's but failed because the Protestants refused to change
D. Other factors are not favorable for power sharing to work in NI1. They have only two subcultures with one severely dominantE. There are positive signs that NI is will one day be united but for all these positives there are many negatives
2. There are no clear territorial boundaries
3. Internal rivalries and quarrels within both subcultures leadership
4. Other unresolved problems like a desperate economic situation and high unemployment.
IV. Former CzechoslovakiaA. In 1989 it was one country but after the election of 1992 it was spit into two - the Czech Republic and SlovakiaV. Former Yugoslavia
B.Before the 1992 election the two major parties split into several smaller parties
C. The election results showed major differences between the Czech and Slovak parts of the country
D. Separation occurred because of the major differences between the leaders in the different areas
E. The decision to separate was made without the consent of the people
F. Consocational theory worked, although the country divided it was peacefulA. In 1990 war broke out in Yugoslavia
B. Slovenia and Croatia declared themselves independent by means of self-determination
C. The Yugoslav authorities felt the two regions had no right to declare themselves free
D. In 1992 the United Nations recognized Slovenia and Croatia as nations
E. Slovenia, because it was the most uniform, reached stability relatively quickly
F. Croatia held a large minority of Krajina Serbs who were not happy with the new nations because they were no longer united with the other Serbs who were now found in the Serbian republic They violently protested the new boundaries.1. The Serbs passed a referendum to become part of Serbia but they were not recognized internationally.G. Bosnia-Herzegovina became independent on shaky ground. There was barely a majority decision and some Serbs and Croats did not even vote in protest against the Muslims.1. A horrendous war broke out in BosniaH. Macedonia is a fourth region of the republic and it too has civil unrest
2. The UN stepped in in peacekeeping attempts
3. Many people were killed including UN soldiers
I. In 1995 the Dayton Peace Accords ended the unrest in Yugoslavia (pg 308)
J. On paper it looks like the region is involved in power sharing but the reality is yet to be seen.
Discontinued chapter -- notes from old 4e
Ch. 13: History and Organization of the European Union
(Adam Farquhar 2004)
I. History of the European Union
A. The endless number of conflicts in Europe created the need for unity.1. After World War I, the Pan-European movement started, but was ultimately defeated by Fascism.B. The European Union arose out of an evolution of organizations and treaties.
2. After World War II, Winston Churchill called for a “kind of United States of Europe.”1. The European Coal and Steel Community was created in 1951 in order to bring together the elements of war between the member countries.II. Organization of the European Union
2. In 1957, these same European Democracies formed the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community, thus forming the European Community.
3. In 1991, the Treaty on European Union was signed, creating the EU.
A. Council of Ministers1. Each country sends a their particular minister that corresponds with the issue at hand. (ex: Minister of Agriculture discusses issues of agriculture.)B. European Council
2. The amount of votes a country has depends on the size of the country.
3. The Luxemburg Agreement stated that on important issues, there must be a unanimous vote.1. This brings together the Chief Executives of the member countries bi-annually.C. European Commission
2. Leadership is rotated every six months.
3. This is considered the most important institution of the EU.1. This commission is made of full-time employees to the EU who deal with the day-to-day issues of Europe.D. European Parliament
2. There are two representatives from each large country, and one representative from each small country.
3. A president sometimes referred to by Americans as the “President of Europe” heads them.1. Since 1976, members of the Parliament have been elected directly by voters.E. European Court of Justice
2. The Parliament has a problem of weakness, including only limited power over the budget.1. The Court is made up of 15 independent judges who decide cases without considering their national loyalties.F. Permanent Represenitive Commission
2. They are credited with turning the Treaty of Rome into a workable constitution.
3. One landmark case was in 1963, called Van Bend and Loos vs. Nederlandse Adminstratie der Belastingen. This case established that individuals in the EU had rights they could enforce against their own country.
4. Costa vs. ENEL established that the Treaty of Rome was higher than any national statute.1. They divide issues into A issues and B issues before they reach the Council of Ministers.
2. A issues are ones that there is a general consensus on, while B issues are issues that are up for debate.
Steiner 13 History and Institutions of the European Union
-- discontinuted chapter, notes from old 4e
By Sierra Turner, 2004
Council in Europe (Strasbourg, France, 1949) first step in a “United States of Europe.”
Had only a consultative character…required no surrender of national sovereignty with its decisions based on unanimous votes, giving each country a veto power. Still exists today and does important work…. Compared with/to the European Union the Council of Europe is much less important.
The European Union had its institutional beginning in the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) which was founded by the Treaty of Paris on April 18, 1951….however they suffered a great setback in 1954 when the French National Assembly voted against it, not wishing to have French troops under a common European command.
Institutionally, the European Union is a hybrid of international and supranational organizations. In an international organization, each nation keeps it independence, whereas a supranational organization, nations yield their sovereignty to the common organization.
The European Council brings together the chief executives of the 15 member countries.
Compared with the United States, the European Council corresponds closely to the Governor’s Conference. To survive politically, the members of the European Council must, first of all, win elections at home. If they lose those elections, they are also out of the European Council.
The institution that brings continuity in the operations of the European Union is the European Commission. In contrast to the members of the Council of Ministers and the European Council, commissioners work full time for the European Union.
The European Commission directs a large bureaucracy at the headquarters in Brussels. The commission meets once a week and is responsible for specific policy areas, such as external relations, agriculture, social affairs, energy and transport.
In the Treaty of Rome, the European Parliament was called an “assembly” but in 1958, it gave itself its current name. Originally, the European Parliament consisted of delegates of the national parliaments, and it met for short sessions in Strasbourg.
The European Court of Justice, located in Luxembourg, has 15 judges, who are appointed by “common accord” of the national governments of the member countries….The judges take an oath to decide cases independently of national loyalties. They are able to follow this oath to a large extent. 2 aspects of the court’s decision-making process help them to do so: first, the secrecy of their deliberations and, in second, the absence of the recording of dissenting opinions in the court.
The first major policy goal of the European Community was to establish a common market for its member countries. The importance of this goal is such that even today the European Union is often called the common market.
Chapter 14 Policies of the European Union
-- discontinuted chapter, notes from old 4e
Sierra R. Turner, 2004
With the Single European Act of 1986, all nontariff trade barriers should have been eliminated by December 31, 1992.The goal was that all requirements that individual products have to meet with regard to health, safety, and environmental hazards be harmonized within the EC.
For the free market of goods to function, no complete harmonization was attempted.
The Common market for services had long lagged behind the common market for goods. With the Single European Act of 1985, a great push was given towards integration in the service sector, too.
The remaining main obstacle to a common market for services is the state monopoly. In many countries the state railway systems, for example, have a monopoly, so that railway systems of other European Union countries cannot enter into competition.
If no special diplomas or proficiency certificates are required for particular jobs, a free labor market has existed virtually from the beginning of the EC, although with certain transition periods.
Foreign workers tend to be the last hired and the first fired. With the establishment of the EC free labor market, Europeans have learned that it indeed is not easy for people from different cultural backgrounds to live in harmony.
The goal for a common market for capital has been largely reached. For capital to flow freely within the European Union, many banking rules had to be harmonized, such as those for insider dealings ad regulation of investment advisers.
Form the beginning, the European Community knew that it needed a competition policy in order to achieve a free market for goods, services, labor, and capital. Such a policy was departure from the traditional European pattern, which was characterized by cartelization and monopolies.
Common Currency is expected to have 2 main advantages:
1. Speculation can be limited.
2. Business transactions across national borders are made easier if exchange rate risks are limited.
For a country to become a new member of the EU, it must fulfill three conditions:
1. It must be European,
2. It must be democratic, and
3. It must be able to integrate fully into the economic activities of the European Union after a relatively short transitional period.
Chapter 15 What New Order for Europe?The Cold War had imposed order in Europe, although a fragile one…When the order imposed by the Cold War was lifted in Europe, nationalism began to rise….
-- discontinuted chapter, notes from old 4e
Sierra R. Turner, 2004
It was only in the 16th century, with the beginning of absolutism, that the concept of national sovereignty became relevant. Within specific territorial borders a single ruler took over all the political power.
European history of the 19th and 20th centuries has shown how the concept of the nation-state, based on an exclusively defined national sovereignty, can lead to catastrophic wars.
The idea for a more stable European order is to redefine the concept of sovereignty in less national terms. Sovereignty would no longer belong exclusively to the nation-state but be divided among the European, the national, and the regional levels.
For a new political order in Europe it is also important that regional political units are allowed to cut across national borders. For example the Basque region and the Tyrol region.
Cross-national regions may also grow out of functional economic circumstances. An example is the Region Basiliensis in Greater Basel. Cross-national economic regions emerge also in Eastern Europe. Example: Euroregion Pomerania.