Reading List: European Parliament, mayoral and local elections 2014

Thursday 22nd May 2014 saw European Parliament, mayoral and local elections take place in the UK. From voting patterns to policy formation, and from Euroscepticism to the power of personality, political science scholarship has contributed a huge amount to our understanding of politics and elections today. Here, LSE Review of Books editor Amy Mollett brings together a selection of reviews on books covering elections and their connections to political history, the future of Europe, and poll results.

Interested in how we can stabilize Europe?

Turbulent and Mighty Continent: What Future for Europe? by Anthony Giddens
In Turbulent and Mighty ContinentAnthony Giddons makes a valuable contribution to the continued debate on the future of Europe, writes Gerard Delanty. Many of the arguments are not entirely new but despite this limitation the book is rich in insights on conceptualising problems and identifying solutions. For Giddens, reform in Europe must go far beyond stabilizing the euro, to cover policies on climate change, energy, and unemployment. Read more…

Interested in policy-making in the UK and Europe?

How Europe Shapes British Public Policy by Janice Morphet
This book considers the effects of EU membership in shaping key policy areas – trade and privatisation, the single market and the environment, and subsidiarity in the development and implementation of devolved and decentralised governance. Janice Morphet discusses the effects of disengagement through the political practices of policy making and the implications that this has had for depoliticisation in government and the civil service. Alastair Hill recommends the read to political science students, especially those interested in policy-making across Europe. Read more…

Interested in intra-party conflicts over Europe?

Factional Politics: How Dominant Parties Implode or Stabilize by Françoise Boucek
Divisions within dominant political parties are nothing new, as has been illustrated by the Conservative Party’s renewed infighting over Europe. But how does internal party dissent begin, and what effects does it have on political parties in power? Ulrich Sieberer finds this book to be rich in empirical detail, praises its analysis of how some parties are able to manage internal divisions, whilst others are not, and recommends it as an insightful addition to the literature on intra-party politics. Read more…

Interested in who influences European policy?

Lobbying in the European Union: Interest Groups, Lobbying Coalitions, and Policy Change by Heike Klüver
Why can some interest groups influence policy-making while others cannot? Even though this question is central to the study of politics, we know little about the factors explaining interest group influence. This book aims to shed light on the impact of interest groups on European policy-making, with author Heike Klüver developing a comprehensive theoretical model for understanding lobbying success. Reviewed by Benedetta Voltolini. Read more…

Interested in how European countries borrow policies from each other?

The Democratic Foundations of Policy Diffusion: How Health, Family and Employment Laws Spread Across Countries by Katerina Linos
This book claims that laws spread across countries in very public and politicized ways. Katerina Linos argues that politicians choose to follow certain international models to win domestic elections, and to persuade sceptical voters that their ideas are not radical, ill-thought-out experiments, but mainstream, tried-and-true solutions. Whilst it is not new to discover that countries borrow and emulate policies, the original contribution of the book is in being able to empirically link this to elected politicians and voter behaviour, writes Louise BrownRead more…

Interested in what goes on behind the scenes of a political campaign?

101 Ways to Win an Election by Mark Pack and Edward Maxfield
In politics there are no prizes for second place. Packed with advice and practical examples, this guide reveals the insider secrets and skills from seasoned campaign professionals Mark Pack and Edward Maxfield. Paul Brighton finds that the authors avoid many of the errors made by so-called ‘media trainers’, and recommends the book for budding Merkels and Obamas. Read more…

Interested in the study of right-wing extremism and nationalism?

Right-Wing Populism in Europe: Politics and Discourse, edited by Ruth Wodak, Majid KhosraviNik and Brigitte Mral
Right-wing populist movements and related political parties are gaining ground in many EU member states. This book aims to provide an overall picture of the dynamics and development of these parties across Europe and beyond. Combining theory with in-depth case studies, it offers a comparative analysis of the policies and rhetoric of existing and emerging parties including the British BNP, the Hungarian Jobbik and the Danish Folkeparti. Theofanis Exadaktylos finds that this is an excellent addition to the growing literature on the study of right-wing extremism and nationalism, useful for students and scholars alike. Read more…

This post originally appeared on the LSE Review of Books website

Note: this post represents the views of the author and not those of Democratic Audit or the LSE. Please read our comments policy before posting. Cover image credit: Alan Cleaver, CC BY NC 2.0, the shortened URL for this post is:

Amy Mollett is Managing Editor of the LSE Review of Books. Amy graduated from the University of Sussex with a First in English Language, and completed a Masters degree in Social Policy and Gender at the LSE. She joined the PPG in September 2010 as Book Reviews Editor on the British Politics and Policy at LSE Blog, before moving on to manage the LSE Impact of Social Sciences Blog until the launch of the LSE Review of Books in April 2012. She is on Twitter and Instagram.

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