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This innovative new text explores the nature of European politics in the context of the origin and institutional development of the European state system.Underlying the analysis are a series of questions: How did the state, the central element of contemporary European political life, emerge from and eventually triumph over the bewildering multiplicity of competing forms of rule that existed in Europe after the collapse of the Roman Empire? What explains the development of the common methods for managing their economies, societies, and politics found in contemporary European states? What are the nature and significance of the integration of European states into the European Union?The authors systematically cover the historical background of the European democratic nation-state; its governing institutions and practices; current efforts to unify the continent; and the challenges posed by circumstances ranging from EU membership to internal ethnonationalist movements to the extensive migration of people within and into Europe. In the concluding chapter, they consider the future of the European state in light of its history, current domestic political realities, and the broad forces of globalization.This book offers an innovative exploration of the nature of European politics in the context of the origin and institutional development of the European state system.

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