Article

Politics of the European Union

John McCormick

in Political Science

ISBN: 9780199756223
Published online November 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199756223-0042
Politics of the European Union

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  • Politics
  • Comparative Politics
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  • Political Methodology
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The European Union (EU) has become a critical new actor on the global stage, containing twenty-seven member states (with more considering membership) and nearly 500 million people. With its origins in postwar efforts to promote peace, security, and economic reconstruction in Europe, the EU constitutes a new level of authority above that of the member states and has overseen the building of a European single market, the launch of the euro, and the development of common (or coordinated) policies on agriculture, the environment, trade, regional development, external relations, immigration, and a wide variety of other issues. But the jury is still out on the personality of the EU and the wisdom of European integration, some praising its achievements but others regarding it as undemocratic and a threat to the sovereignty of its member states. The literature on the EU has grown exponentially since the late 1980s, as scholars and other analysts struggle to understand both the dynamics and the implications of European integration. This entry offers a taste of the range of topics within the literature, with sections on the theory and principles of integration, the history of the EU, its major institutions, political processes, and key areas of policy activity.

Article.  7946 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Comparative Politics ; Political Institutions ; Political Methodology ; Political Theory

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