Politics

September 18, 2008

THE EUROPEAN UNION: HOW DOES IT WORK?

Editors: Elizabeth Bomberg, John Peterson and Alexander Stubb

Edition: Second

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Pages: 288

Price: £21.99

ISBN 9780199206391

The new edition of this introductory text aims to demystify the structures and operation of the European Union. The authors introduce and analyse the EU's key actors, processes and developments. The book's overall aim is to provide an accessible introduction to how the EU works and why it matters.

Who is it for? Mainly for students studying the EU for the first time.

Presentation: Excellent. Clear, readable and with very good learning aids, coupled with significant web resources.

Would you recommend it? Yes. In fact, I have.

UNDERSTANDING THE EUROPEAN UNION: A CONCISE INTRODUCTION

Author: John McCormick

Edition: Fourth

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Pages: 264

Price: £55.00 and £19.99

ISBN 9780230201019 and 1026

This is aimed at a broad audience. However, it will appeal more to university students than to the general reader. Fully revised and updated to cover the enlarged European Union of states, it provides a clear assessment of the Lisbon Treaty, the impact of the Euro and the changing place of the EU as an international actor.

Who is it for? Supposedly for anyone who wants to understand how the EU works and what it means for its citizens. I'm not convinced.

Presentation: More of a textbook for students than an introduction for a broader audience. It is, however, clearly presented and gives a good feel of the academic debates.

Would you recommend it? Yes, to those studying the EU for the first time.

THE EUROPEAN UNION

Author: Duncan Watts

Edition: First

Publisher: Edinburgh University Press

Pages: 336

Price: £60.00 and £19.99

ISBN 9780748632987 and 2985

In this volume the author sets out to provide a study of the European Union that explains how it functions and makes it intelligible not only to students, but also to professionals working in EU agencies. The book has a thorough look at member states as well as the history, developments, institutions, politics and policy processes of the EU itself.

Who is it for? Presented as an introduction for anyone interested in the EU.

Presentation: A little dense for a textbook. It tries to cover too much ground, and as a consequence boxes and tables can seem a little cramped.

Would you recommend it? More as a reference book than a textbook. The volume is thorough, if not clear or compelling.

THE FOREIGN POLICY OF THE EUROPEAN UNION

Authors: Stephan Keukeleire and Jennifer MacNaughtan

Edition: First

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Pages: 374

Price: £60.00 and £21.99

ISBN 9781403947215 and 7222

This book is a comprehensive assessment of EU foreign policy that looks beyond the Common Foreign and Security Policy to analyse foreign policy developed through other EU pillars. The authors challenge commonly used explanations for difficulties in developing a coherent EU foreign policy.

Who is it for? Advanced students and researchers would benefit most from it.

Presentation: Clear, if somewhat dense for a textbook.

Would you recommend it? Only to those students with a particular interest in EU foreign policy, and probably only graduate students at that.

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