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Chapter

This chapter looks at competition between parties. First, the chapter outlines the ways in which party systems are described and categorized, in terms of the number of parties (in other words, fragmentation) and their ideological position (polarization). The chapter then addresses the theological models that aim to explain party competition. The chapter uses the simple spatial model here which predicts that parties position themselves close to the centre of politics to appeal to the modern voter. It then looks at competition models. These models expect parties to champion issues they ‘own’. The chapter also looks at valence models which focus on competence, leadership traits and other non-party characteristics of candidates and parties. The chapter ends with a discussion of mainstream parties, looking at how they seek to respond to the rise of challenger parties.

Chapter

Érick Duchesne and Arthur Silve

This chapter focuses on formal modelling. A formal model is the mathematical exposition of reasoning. Its purpose is to formulate consistent and rigorously stated hypotheses, which often shed light on the causation of a particular social phenomenon. Often, in the social sciences, a formal model is valuable because it can accurately predict behaviour and describe an actual (although unobservable) causal mechanism. Thus, formal models also allow plenty of space for deductive reasoning. Whether they clarify hypotheses or describe a mechanism, the success of formal models remains a matter of debate. The chapter then presents a few examples of useful models and considers the most frequent criticisms of formal modelling in order to identify a series of good practices for its proper use.

Chapter

This chapter explores the average longevity, characteristics, and operational environment of terrorist groups. A large number of terrorist groups do not survive their first year, while the average lifespan of terrorist organizations is around 8–9 years. Large groups tend to have a longer lifespan than smaller ones, especially if they form alliances. The chapter also looks into factors motivating groups to continue with violent attacks. Such factors include specific state and group characteristics and intergroup relations. It examines the instrumental model and the organizational model and looks into the rationality behind terrorist decision-making.

Chapter

Elisabetta Brighi and Christopher Hill

This chapter examines the ‘implementation phase’ of foreign policy making — that is, the period in which decisions are translated into action. It first considers the theoretical problems involved in deciding where a foreign policy action ends and its environment begins. It then explores the range of problems encountered by states when trying to implement their foreign policies, as well as the instruments — diplomatic, military, economic, and cultural — at their disposal. In particular, it explains the distinction between power as a means and power as a context. It concludes by highlighting the endless loops that connect — and blur together — ends and means in foreign policy, along with the key lessons which practitioners need to bear in mind. The chapter argues that foreign policy decisions are best understood through the strategic–relational model.

Chapter

This chapter examines the influence of media and public opinion on U.S. foreign policy and vice versa. It considers the extent to which the media and public have been manipulated by the government, and the extent to which public opinion and media have shaped foreign policy during tumultuous times such as the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. It also explores the consequences of public opinion and media for U.S. power in the twenty-first century. The chapter describes pluralist and elite models of the public opinion/ media/foreign policy nexus, long with public and media diplomacy. It concludes with a discussion of the extent to which developments in communication technology have empowered U.S. public opinion and media, as well as the impact of this technology on global U.S. power and influence, in particular in the context of the current war on terror.

Chapter

This chapter examines the functions and organization of the European Commission services, arguing that they are a bureaucracy with unique agenda-setting powers at the heart of the European Union polity. It begins with an overview of the origins and evolution of the Commission services, focusing on the influence of Jean Monnet, first President of the High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), and how the services were shaped by national bureaucratic models as well as international organization models. The chapter proceeds by discussing the Commission services’ powers, structure, and functioning and what the officials think about the role of the institution with respect to agenda-setting, nationality, and EU governance. It argues that while the Commission bureaucracy has become more circumspect of bold political initiatives, neither its capacity nor its will to play a strong policy role in Europe have been significantly weakened.

Chapter

This chapter examines the relevance of media and public opinion to our understanding of foreign policy and international politics. It first considers whether public opinion influences foreign policy formulation, as argued by the pluralist model, or whether the public are politically impotent, as argued by the elite model. It then explores whether the media can influence foreign policy formulation, as argued by the pluralist model, or whether the media are fundamentally subservient to the foreign policy process, as argued by the elite model. It also integrates these competing arguments with theoretical frames used in the study of international relations: namely, realism, liberalism, and critical approaches (including constructivism and post-structuralism). The chapter concludes by discussing contemporary debates concerning organized persuasive communication and the ‘war on terror’.

Chapter

This chapter introduces the proposed theoretical toolbox this book intends to use for the studying of democracy in Europe. The idea is that the analytical concepts created by this toolbox will prove useful for understanding the various aspects of democratic politics seen throughout Europe. The fundamental philosophy of this book is the idea that to understand democratic governance, in particular in Europe, there needs to be a model. The goal isn’t to include every single possible detail of what is observed in the real world. Rather, it is to consider the essential elements for understanding democratic politics and to use those to highlight the various nuances found in the real world. A model is a comparative and analytical tool, rather than a method of example.

Chapter

Erik Tillman

This chapter examines theories and evidence of voting behaviour in Europe. Sociological models examine the role of political cleavages such as class in the development of long-term attachments between parties and voters. Rationalist models examine the sources of short-term changes in voting behaviour with spatial models focusing on the ideological congruence between parties and voters and performance voting models emphasizing evaluations of incumbent records in office. Recent decades have seen debates about a possible realignment of voter loyalties or a dealignment of voter attachments. The final section focuses on how the legacy of communism has structured the development of voting behaviour in East-Central Europe.

Chapter

The Introduction argues that to understand European politics there are two premises that need to be accepted. Firstly, the interplay between European and national-level politics must be taken seriously. The two cannot be studied independently. Secondly, a theoretical model of politics is necessary to help us to make assumptions about politics explicit and to ensure that the arguments used are logically consistent. Models help us to zoom in on a particular aspect of politics and apply our analysis to real-life examples. It also helps us to spot the similarities and differences across political systems and governments so we can make comparisons. The Introduction answers the question: why focus on Europe? One of the most obvious reasons is that Europe is the home to the largest number and variety of democratic governments anywhere in the world.

Chapter

Mark Bennister and Phil Larkin

This chapter focuses on the accountability of the government to Parliament. One way to conceptualize the place of the UK Parliament in the accountability process is as part of a ‘chain of delegation’, whereby democratic authority lies in the hands of the citizens. Due to lack of time and expertise to participate actively in the day-to-day process of running the country, however, these citizens delegate much of this responsibility to a subset of their number who become parliamentarians. Parliamentarians in turn delegate much of this role to a further subset of their number who become the government. The chapter first considers accountability in the Westminster model before discussing recent reforms of accountability mechanisms and how they have increased Parliament's capacity to scrutinize government. Examples of the strengthening of the accountability function include stronger select committees, the use of urgent questions, and Liaison Committee sessions with the prime minister.

Chapter

8. The European Commission:  

the cabinets and the services

Frédéric Mérand

Focusing on the services and the cabinets, this chapter analyses the European Commission as a complex organizational, political, and social institution. Organizationally, it describes the Commission as a unique international bureaucracy which puts its French administrative tradition, consensus-based, and law-heavy internal procedures under the growing influence of an Anglo-American style of management. Politically, the chapter shows that the Commission increasingly behaves like a political executive that seeks to establish its own legitimacy vis-à-vis public opinion and member states by addressing partisan dynamics in the European Parliament. In terms of social relations, the chapter draws from the author’s ethnographic work to explore the transnational life of Commission civil servants and cabinet staffers who have made the Berlaymont their home.

Chapter

Ralf Emmers

This chapter examines the Copenhagen School and its securitization model. The Copenhagen School broadens the definition of security by encompassing five different sectors: military, political, societal, economic, and environmental security. It first provides an overview of the Copenhagen School’s securitization model before discussing its application to empirical research as well as the limitations of the securitization model. It then considers the role of the securitizing actor and the importance of the ‘speech act’ in convincing a specific audience of a threat’s existential nature. It argues that the Copenhagen School allows for non-military matters to be included in Security Studies while still offering a coherent understanding of the concept of security. It also describes the dangers and the negative connotations of securitizing an issue and concludes with some cases of securitization, including the securitization of undocumented migration, securitization of drug trafficking, and the failure of securitization in the Iraq War.

Chapter

Christoph Knill and Jale Tosun

This chapter examines the process related to policy-making as well as potential determinants of policy choices. It begins with a discussion of conceptual models of policy-making, namely the institutional, rational, incremental, group, elite, and process models. It then considers the policy cycle, which models the policy process as a series of political activities, consisting of agenda setting, policy formulation, policy sadoption, implementation, and evaluation. It also analyses the role of institutions, frames, and policy styles in policy-making and concludes with an assessment of the most crucial domestic and international factors shaping the design of policies, focusing in particular on theories of policy diffusion, policy transfer, and cross-national policy convergence, along with international sources that affect domestic policy-making.

Chapter

This chapter examines how states have very different preferences in global environmental politics. These state preferences are formed and shaped in a co-evolving process at both the domestic and international levels. Domestically, a rational choice analysis shows how environmental vulnerability and the costs of abatement contribute to defining a state's national interests in environmental politics. But the rational choice model, though useful, has its limits. It often presents the state as a unitary and monolithic actor, whereas in fact states come in multiple institutional forms and are made up of numerous actors with varying and sometimes conflicting interests. Several international factors also play an important role in shaping state preferences. Some of those international factors revolve around how states interact with one another in international negotiations. Indeed, state preferences can be revised during international negotiations via states' interactions in working and contact groups, with negotiating chairs, in coalitions, and through leadership efforts.

Chapter

John Garnett and John Baylis

This chapter examines theories that explain the causes of war. It considers ideas advanced by political scientists, sociologists, biologists and philosophers, showing that different explanations of war give rise to different requirements or conditions for peace. After highlighting the difficulties in studying war, the chapter discusses human nature explanations of war, citing such factors as frustration, misperception, misunderstanding, miscalculation, and errors of judgement as well as the role of human collectives including factions, tribes, nations and states. It then describes the bargaining model of war before turning to inter-state wars, intra-state conflicts, and ethnic conflicts. It also explores the debate over whether ‘greed’ or ‘grievance’ are the main causes of civil wars. The chapter concludes that identifying a single cause appropriate to all wars is an exercise in futility and that a worldwide ‘just’ peace is unattainable.

Chapter

Catarina Thomson and Stephane Baele

This chapter introduces securitization theory, situating its intellectual roots and tracing its emergence and evolution as a framework for analysis, and spelling out its main concepts and dimensions. The chapter also presents four empirical cases in securitization research—migration, religion, the environment and climate change, and health (including how COVID-19 has been securitized). Finally, the chapter addresses the key criticisms and challenges that have been voiced against securitization theory. These are threefold—the theory has been said to lack coherence, the empirical methods used by securitization researchers have been claimed to lack rigor, and the normative and critical status of the framework has been debated.

Chapter

John Garnett and John Baylis

This chapter examines theories that explain the causes of war. It considers ideas advanced by political scientists, sociologists, biologists, and philosophers, showing that different explanations of war give rise to different requirements or conditions for peace. After highlighting the difficulties in studying war, the chapter discusses human nature explanations of war, citing such factors as frustration, misperception, misunderstanding, miscalculation, and errors of judgement as well as the role of human collectives including factions, tribes, nations, and states. It then describes the bargaining model of war before turning to inter-state wars, intra-state conflicts, and ethnic conflicts. It also explores the debate over whether ‘greed’ or ‘grievance’ are the main causes of civil wars. The chapter concludes that identifying a single cause appropriate to all wars is an exercise in futility and that a worldwide ‘just’ peace is unattainable.

Chapter

This chapter examines four major issues in International Political Economy (IPE). The first concerns power and the relationship between politics and economics, and more specifically whether politics is in charge of economics or whether it is the other way around. The second issue deals with development and underdevelopment in developing countries. The third is about the nature and extent of economic globalization, and currently takes places in a context of increasing inequality between and inside countries. The fourth and final issue concerns how to study the real world from an IPE perspective and it pits the hard science American School against the more qualitative and normative British School.

Chapter

This chapter examines four important debates in International Political Economy (IPE). The first debate concerns power and the relationship between politics and economics, and more specifically whether politics is in charge of economics or whether it is the other way around. The second debate deals with development and underdevelopment in developing countries. The third debate is about the nature and extent of economic globalization, and currently takes places in a context of increasing inequality between and inside countries. The fourth and final debate pits the hard science American School of IPE against the more qualitative and normative British School of IPE.