The subject of Europe Politics is a difficult one to study as each political community struggles to maintain its independence and remain viable. Two such nations which are regularly in the headlines on both sides of the pond are Italy and Germany, with Spain and Greece also offering political intrigue. In many ways the politics of Europe are as complex and difficult to understand as are the nations themselves and perhaps this is the reason why no book by any one has managed to put all the pieces of the puzzle together. Indeed a quick scan through some of the more popular European political books would show you that the methods of analysis tend to vary widely between authors and some even disagree with their own methods, while others might offer you a rather detailed and balanced overview. There are even those who prefer to study Europe’s political history from a slightly more international perspective and indeed one could say that the development of Europe after the cold war was far less eventful than many had foreseen and many countries have collapsed in the last century, some of them more spectacularly than others, but nonetheless some have managed to hold on to their independence and influence.
One of the more famous works to try and explain European politics would be Jean Mouchet’s “The Making of the Modern Europe”. While this work has had a huge impact on modern day European leaders and political analysts, it remains an influential text on the subject as many are familiar with its chapters which focus on how different parties develop in the wake of national elections. chapters include The Balance of Power, The Central European State, The Crisis and the Fourth Estate, International Relations and the Alternative Hypothesis. All these chapters suggest that there are two distinct strands of Europe’s history, with one being the tradition of the continent-wide aristocratic class, dominated for centuries by various aristocratic families before being absorbed by the democratic traditions that came later.
The other strand, which is represented by the rise of the democratic movements, democracy and constitutionalism represents the historic enlightenment of continental countries over the last couple of centuries. A fascinating look into the early years of Europe’s development is also reflected upon with chapters such as How the Renaissance Happened, Why the Middle East is So Good For Tourism and why Switzerland is So Great to Visit. There is also a short guide to the most important cities across Europe with interesting summaries.