OverviewPolitics and Society in Western Europe is a comprehensive introduction for students of West European politics and of comparative politics. This new edition has been extensively revised and updated to meet with the new needs of undergraduate students as they come to terms with a changing social and political landscape in Europe.The textbook provides a full analysis of the political systems of 18 Western European countries, their political parties, elections, and party systems, as well as the structures of government at local, regional, national and European Union levels. This Fourth Edition is based upon a new analytical framework, the general theory of democratic stability of Alexis de Tocqueville, to explore outcomes such as stability and equality. Throughout the book, key theoretical ideas are accessibly introduced and examined against the very latest empirical data on civil society and the state.An important theme running through the text is that political institutions and political outcomes are conditioned by the social structure. The authors probe the nature and form of Western European political systems in terms of civil society, the market economy and the chief cleavages - class, ethnicity, regional identity and religion - and in the process present a uniquely rich picture of contemporary West European society and politics. The Fourth Edition of Politics and Society in Western Europe represents a major revision of this widely used textbook. It will continue to be an invaluable resource for all students of West European politics, European integration, comparative politics and political sociology.