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Cover Comparative European Politics

12. Politics and Markets  

Neil Robinson and Owen Worth

The political economy of Europe has changed significantly in the last four decades because of globalization, the collapse of communism, and financial crises. This chapter first discusses the different varieties of capitalism that emerged in Europe after World War II. It looks at how they have been put under pressure by economic internationalization and the dominance of neoliberal ideas, which together have weakened economic management at nation-state level. The chapter also looks at the development of capitalism in Eastern Europe and explanations for variance in post-communist capitalist development. Finally, the chapter considers the challenges to the management of Europe’s political economy posed by the international financial crisis that dominated much of Europe’s politics after 2007, along with the initial response to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

Chapter

Cover The Member States of the European Union

15. The Europeanization of Interest Groups and Social Movements  

Sabine Saurugger

This chapter examines the dynamics of Europeanization of interest groups and social movements in European Union member states. European integration has influenced interest groups and social movements since the beginning of the process in the 1950s. However, transformation has been induced by other elements such as globalization or the transformation of the state. Drawing on findings from empirical studies, this chapter analyses the change in interests, strategies, and internal organizational structures of interest groups and social movements, both in the ‘old’ and ‘new’ member states. It shows that the Europeanization of interest groups and social movements is highly differentiated, according to public policy areas, group types, and national origins. It concludes in analysing more recent developments such as interest group and social movement reactions to austerity politics as well as Brexit.

Chapter

Cover The Member States of the European Union

6. Greece: a Critical Test Case of Europeanization  

Dimitris Papadimitriou and Sotirios Zartaloudis

This chapter explores Greece’s turbulent and ambivalent relationship with European integration. Despite initial hesitation during the initial stages of EU membership, Greece grew into one of the most pro-European member states. This enthusiasm ended abruptly after 2010 with the eurozone crisis and resultant EU–IMF bailout agreements that necessitated unpopular reforms and austerity. Consequently, Greece witnessed a seismic change in its party system, with a dramatic increase in the popularity of anti-system parties on both the Left and the Right of the political spectrum. Euroscepticism became more prevalent among Greek voters who blamed foreign actors (such as the EU, the IMF, Germany) and their domestic interlocutors for the country’s economic hardship. Greece’s Europeanization has been difficult, not least because of endemic weaknesses in public administration and the public policy process. EU-driven adaptational pressures on policy, polity, and institutions have been severely mitigated by entrenched veto points at the domestic level.