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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.


Cover Comparative Politics

22. The impact of public policies  

Atsuko Ichijo

This chapter examines the role of public policies. It starts by defining public policy and introducing a series of tools for analysing different types of public policies. The chapter argues that we need to consider both the short-run effects of policies and their longer-run political effects, with each empirical section examining both how policies work and how they shape (or fail to shape) longer-run political coalitions. It starts by analysing policies affecting income equality, looking at policies shaping longer-run patterns of income redistribution. It then turns to economic performance, reviewing arguments about different ‘varieties of capitalism’ and their underlying political and economic logics. The penultimate section turns to examining the role of quotas and other policies in shaping women’s representation in legislatures. The chapter concludes with discussion of climate change and the economic and political logics of policies aiming to reduce carbon emissions.


Cover The Member States of the European Union

18. The Europeanization of National Economies?  

Vivien A. Schmidt

This chapter examines the impact of Europeanization upon the national economies of European Union member states. It considers how successful the EU has been in promoting its goal of building a single European economy out of the diverse national economies of its member states; how much convergence has occurred among EU member states, and how much divergence remains; and what impact the economic crisis beginning in 2008 has had on the EU and its member states. To answer these questions, the chapter traces the development of Europe’s national economies from the post-war period until today. It also analyses the impact of globalization and Europeanization on post-war varieties of capitalism before concluding with reflections on future patterns of political economic development in the EU in light of the economic crisis.