Return to: Search Page or to: Table of Contents Vol. 8, issue 4

Robert Ladrech,"Preface," Party Politics, 8 (July, 2002), 387-388

First Paragraph:
For quite some time the study of parties and European integration remained focused on the development and organization of transnational party federations, or on the policy perspective held by individual parties regarding support for the integration process. The study of how the integration of western Europe impacts on the national political systems of EU member states really took off in the 1990s as a consequence of such major initiatives as economic and monetary union (EMU). It was in this body of literature that the term 'Europeanization' was coined, and throughout the 1990s its usage in scholarly output slowly increased. It has been defined as a process both 'top-down' and 'bottom-up', essentially meaning the input of EU dynamics on member states as well as the development of authoritative institutions at European level.

Figures and Tables:
None.

Last Paragraph:
The studies compiled in this volume represent a wide-ranging attempt to set the parameters for the analysis of Europeanization and political parties. Three themes are explored &endash; the first an attempt to conceptualize a framework for analysis, and, further, to engage with the vital issue of organizational change. The second, again incorporating organizational dynamics, is the role of party elites involved in intra-party matters and in Europeanlevel developments. The third theme involves the relationship between European integration and the political complexion and organization of party families, in this case that of Christian Democrats as well as ethnoregionalist parties. [This is the third paragraph of the Preface.]