European Politics

A comparative introduction, third edition

by Tim Bale

Tim Bale's Internet Guide to European Politics

If you've made it this far, you probably know the basics about using and searching the web. If you don't and/or if you would like to know more about using the internet as a tool in university study, try Palgrave's Hague and Harrop's Internet Guide to Comparative Politics for a clear introduction.

The main purpose of these pages is

  • to provide a jumping-off point for other European politics sites;
  • to provide summaries, selected websites, discussion questions and links to updates, on the topic covered by each chapter of European Politics;
  • to provide, twice yearly, new boxes on important issues in European politics in a section called Updating European Politics;
  • to solicit your feedback, on the book, on the website and on European politics (and its teaching) more generally.

There are many sites that provide links and information on the politics of European states on a country-by-country basis. Two particularly comprehensive sites are Radio Radicale's Political Resources on the Net. Information and discussion of both European and EU politics is well provided by EurActiv. If it's election results you want, try Parties and Elections in Europe. And if you want to know which European party your own political views are closest to, try Europrofiler.

Also useful as starting points are the websites provided by European and EU studies websites around the world, most of which are based out of universities. The following seem to me to be particularly helpful:

Australia

Canada

New Zealand

UK

USA

Note, though, that surfing is not a substitute for, but a rather a complement to, reading - and that (unless you have superhuman self-discipline) you can waste an awful lot of valuable time just browsing. Often the sites are most useful for keeping up to date with current developments; but you can also do this anyway by reading newspapers and news magazines like Time and the Economist (each issue of which contains a few pages on Europe). The best academic sources for keeping up to date are the yearly 'political data handbooks' produced (as special editions at the end of each annual volume) by the European Journal of Political Research: these devote a short chapter to each European country. Electoral Studies is also worth keeping an eye on since, like some of the other journals (such as West European Politics which is highly recommended), it provides up-to-date analyses of recent elections: these often tell you more about the country in question than just its election results.

Other academic journals that are particularly useful for European politics include the Journal of European Public Policy, Comparative European Politics, JCMS, Journal of Contemporary European Studies, Political Studies, Parliamentary Affairs, British Journal of Politics and International Relations, East European Politics, French Politics, German Politics, South European Society and Politics, Scandinavian Political Studies, Acta Politica, European Political Science, and European Political Science Review