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Resolving Controversy in the European Union
Legislative Decision-Making before and after Enlargement

$113.00 (C)

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  • Date Published: November 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107013766

$ 113.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • How does the EU resolve controversy when making laws that affect citizens? How has the EU been affected by the recent enlargements that brought its membership to a diverse group of twenty-seven countries? This book answers these questions with analyses of the EU's legislative system that include the roles played by the European Commission, European Parliament and member states' national governments in the Council of Ministers. Robert Thomson examines more than 300 controversial issues in the EU from the past decade and describes many cases of controversial decision-making as well as rigorous comparative analyses. The analyses test competing expectations regarding key aspects of the political system, including the policy demands made by different institutions and member states, the distributions of power among the institutions and member states, and the contents of decision outcomes. These analyses are also highly relevant to the EU's democratic deficit and various reform proposals.

    • Gives an up-to-date analysis of decision-making in the enlarged European Union, appealing to those interested in the contemporary EU and the impact of the recent enlargements of the EU
    • Offers an accessible nontechnical presentation of key concepts and analyses
    • Each chapter includes examples of some of the most controversial policy proposals in the EU from recent years, as well as quantitative analyses of large numbers of controversies
    • Will appeal to readers who wish to develop knowledge of how to conduct research on decision-making processes, and to advanced researchers who wish to conduct their own analyses
    Read more


    • Received 2nd prize for the European Union Studies Association Best Book Award 2011–2012

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2011
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107013766
    • length: 338 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.62kg
    • contains: 30 b/w illus. 40 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introducing the political system of the European Union
    2. Research design: measuring controversy spatially
    Part I. Inputs:
    3. The European Union's political space
    4. The European Commission's policy positions
    5. The European Parliament's policy positions
    6. Member states' policy positions
    Part II. Processes:
    7. Transforming policy positions into decision outcomes
    8. The relative power of the institutions
    9. The relative power of the member states
    Part III. Outputs:
    10. Decision outcomes
    11. Delegation
    12. Evaluating and improving the European Union
    Appendix: the selection of legislative proposals.

  • Author

    Robert Thomson, Trinity College, Dublin
    Robert Thomson is a Senior Lecturer and Fellow at Trinity College, Dublin. He has been researching and teaching European Union politics since 1999. He is co-editor of The European Union Decides (Cambridge University Press, 2006) and twenty-five articles and book chapters on European politics. His work has appeared in political science journals including the British Journal of Political Science, the European Journal of Political Research and the Journal of Politics and he is one of the most highly cited political scientists based in Ireland. The author was awarded a Government of Ireland Fellowship for his research on EU politics. As well as academic research, he has conducted applied policy research for national governments and the European Commission. He is director of the MSc in Comparative European Politics at Trinity College Dublin and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of European Public Policy.


    • Received 2nd prize for the European Union Studies Association Best Book Award 2011–2012

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