The European Union: how does it work? 5e (5th edition)

ISBN : 9780198807490

Daniel Kenealy; John Peterson; Richard Corbett
328 Pages
171 x 246 mm
Pub date
Aug 2018


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  • 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

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.

The European Union: How does it work? is the perfect concise introduction to the EU's structure and operations for those coming to the subject for the first time. In it, an expert team of scholars and practitioners cut through the complexity to explain the key actors, policies, and developments in the European Union and how these work in practice, equipping students with the knowledge and skills they need to properly understand this complex system. 
The fifth edition of this successful textbook reflects the ongoing changes in the EU in light of the UK's departure from the union and the aftermath of the migration and Eurozone crises. It also features expanded coverage of democracy and legitimacy, highlighting this important and topical debate. 
Students' understanding of the subject is aided by helpful learning features throughout the text. 'How it really works' boxes demonstrate the working of the EU in practice and challenge students to contrast this with the theoretical perspectives they encounter. Meanwhile, 'Compared to what?' features examine aspects of the EU and its workings in relation to other entities, encouraging students to think laterally and critically about the reality of politics in the European Union. 
The text is also supported by online resources designed to make teaching and learning more effective for both students and instructors. These include: 
For students: 
- Test your understanding and receive instant feedback with a range of multiple-choice questions
- Revise key terms and test your knowledge of terminology from the book with our digital flashcard glossary


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

About the author: 

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.
GRAHAM AVERY, St Antony's College, Oxford
RICHARD CORBETT, Member, European Parliament
DESMOND DINAN, George Mason University
FIONA HAYES-RENSHAW, College of Europe, Bruges
DANIEL KENEALY, University of Edinburgh
BRIGID LAFFAN, European University Institute
JOHN PETERSON, University of Edinburgh
ALBERTA SBRAGIA, University of Pittsburgh
ULRICH SEDELMEIER, London School of Economics and Politics Science
FRANCESCO STOLFI, University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus

Reviews 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

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

"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

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