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Understanding the European Union: A Concise Introduction (The European Union Series) Hardcover – 24 Apr 2008


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; 4th edition edition (24 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230201016
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230201019
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 2.3 x 23.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,403,384 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

John McCormick is a professor of political science at Indiana University, Indianapolis. He has degrees from Rhodes University in South Africa and University College London, and a Ph.D from Indiana University. He spent eight years working in the public sector for two London-based environmental interest groups - the World Wildlife Fund, and the International Institute for Environment and Development - and was also a consultant for a number of international organizations, including the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the UN Environment Programme.

The author of twelve books and multiple book chapters and academic papers, his most recent publications include Environmental Policy in the European Union (Palgrave Macmillan, 2001), Contemporary Britain (Palgrave Macmillan, 2nd edition, 2007), The European Union: Politics and Policies (Westview, 4th edition, 2008), Understanding the European Union (Palgrave Macmillan, 4th edition, 2008), Comparative Politics in Transition (Wadsworth, 6th edition, 2009), Europeanism (Oxford University Press, 2010), and European Union Politics (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming 2011).

Product Description

Review


'A clear, detailed, user-friendly book.' - European Library
 
Reviews of previous editions:

'[A] very useful text...Among hundreds...about the phenomenon of European integration, this book stands out as one that really tackles the complexity of the economic, political and legal systems of the EU succinctly.' - Giedrius Surplys, Journal of European Affairs

Book Description

A clear and concise general introduction to the EU, ideal for the uninitiated or confused.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 Nov. 2008
Format: Hardcover
The EU is a complex beast. This book covers the EU from a broad range of angles - what it is and how it reached its current form, how it works and through which institutions, in which policy fields and what the broad thrust of the EU's policies in key fields is, how it impacts on the lives of Europeans and the EU's position in the world. It's an excellent book that will give you a decent understanding of the EU.

John McCormick approaches these themes from the academic discipline of comparative politics and public policy. He serves up each chapter with a brief introduction, then the meat, followed by a conclusion which doubles as a summary of sorts. Coverage of each theme is to the point and well-structured.

A reviewer of this book on the American Amazon.com-site writes that McCormick uses easy language. But if, like me, you're not used to reading academic texts on political systems and/or international organisations, you may disagree. It's not a light read and calls for concentration, partly because of McCormick's fairly academic writing style, partly because of the complex topic, and partly because a lot of info is condensed into a relatively short book.

A worthwhile read if you want to move (well) beyond the rough but incomplete understanding of the EU you'll get from just reading papers and magazines.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andy on 26 Oct. 2010
Format: Paperback
The EU is a vast and complex topic of which can be daunting for beginners to the subject. This book provides a very solid grounding for those studying Politics or the EU at first year university level, or those who just have a keen interest in the learning about the European Union in general. Whilst not diving into any huge and complex detail this book does exactly what is says on the cover, provides a concise introduction to the European Union. It's easy to follow and well-written, and for anyone wishing to learn about the EU, I can think of no better introduction.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By P. Williams on 21 May 2010
Format: Paperback
The institutions of the EU and how it works is very complex. This guide does a reasonable job in providing an introduction that is easy to understand. Less a reference book to dip into as and when, but more a readable cover to cover work. At 200 odd pages this book couldn't hope to cover every detail of the EU and it doesn't, especially the complexities of the passing EU law via various EU bodies and the process of co-decision. But as a first time guide it's more than adequate.

My only criticism is that beware despite its appearance as a guide, it is written by someone who clearly believes in the EU project and the destruction of the nation state. Criticism of the EU project is discussed in the book but largely dismissed; it could have (and probably has) been written by a UK Liberal Democrat.

So in conclusion, by all means read this book but don't take it as your sole reference point.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Good overview 18 Jan. 2009
By J. Shuck - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book was a great overview of the EU but more details in certain areas would have been nice- some information is repeated multiple times throughout the book (like examples). The book size was great for travel because it was not too big and the charts in it were great for understanding hard concepts or detailed explanations. The layout was good for breaking up the pages from looking so daunting.
Five Stars 2 Sept. 2014
By Kristin Revord - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great! Fast shipping, great packaging and matched the description 100%!
favorite part is "the Idea of Europe" 20 Mar. 2015
By viola - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reading this now. favorite part is "the Idea of Europe".
Five Stars 25 Aug. 2014
By Samantha Groen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Great, speedy, and a happy customer!
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Great Book 8 Feb. 2010
By Cesar Perez - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is awesome for those students of International Business or for those students that need to learn more about the EU
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