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on 9 June 2001
This co-authored volume by the two Sheffield University academics is a welcome addition to the vast array of 'introductory' books on the European Union. To some extent it builds upon S. George's previous book "Politics and Policy in the European Union" but has been vastly expanded and updated. Distinct from other books (such as Hix and edited books by Richardson and Wallace) it present a broad overview over integration and governance theory, the history of the EU, the context within the biggest member states, the institutions, and some key policy sectors. It thus provides a good reference point for any student on all aspects of EU studies. It is particularly strong in outlining and explaining the important theories that structure the academic debate about integration and policy-making. The subsequent chapters provide a good introduction to the institutions and policy sectors by positioning them within the theoretical framework outlined in the first chapters and by linking them to the ongoing academic debate. The theoretical introduction is particularly good, as are the chapters on the Commission and on cohesion policies. Frequent use of boxed features and diagrams, as well as the inclusion of important key points and a short guide to further reading at the end of each chapter, make this the ideal text book for undergraduate students who are new to European politics. Yet, for more advanced students this book hardly provides any new insights. Those who wish to gain further and deeper understanding of European politics are advised to read some of the books and articles referenced in the book (but beware of some typos: 'International Organization' became 'Political Organization' on p.287). Nevertheless, this is probably the best comprehensive introductory textbook on the European Union and is thus highly recommended.
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on 24 November 2006
Politics of the European Union is my bible and Bache and George are my Gods! This book is brilliant for anyone studying the European Union. The layout is clear and well organised, with special concepts highlighted separatly from the main text. Each chapter is concluded with a 'Key Points' section and suggestions for further reading.

This book provides a foundation to the EU and is always my first point of call, before going on to more advanced and specific reading. Definitely a book for anyone studying the EU.
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on 2 March 2013
George and Bache provide a very readable and informative overview of all the main questions connected with the EU. The layout is particularly well done and enhances the effectiveness of the text.
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on 17 March 2012
Has great timeline, chapter summaries, key points, glossary and everything to help you through a course. The only downfall is the chronology is a bit jumpy but it's all there in the end!
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on 16 August 2008
I am currently studying politics and international relations at the University of Sheffield and have just completed the European Union module taught by Ian Bache.
The specifics of the book have been outlined in the above reviews, I'd just like to note its usefulness, or not, to Sheffield students in particular, but politics students in general.
The book is on the recommended book list and a chapter or two are always on the weekly reading list. So from that point of view a worthwhile buy. However it is also available as an electronic version via the library website for students to access for those that dont mind reading from the screen and can save you a fair amount of money.
Ian also bases his lectures around these chapters so depending on your point of view it can become repetative or re-afirming to have a copy of this book.
On a wider point, friends of mine at other uni's across the UK doing politics also have copies of this book on their shelves, so definately a core student textbook, and every bit as useful as outlined above.
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on 4 November 2013
This book is an excellent guide for everyone interested in how the EU works.
It explains the role of institutions, politics without going too far and in very comprehensive way!
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on 12 January 2013
I am attending a course in Intemational Relations, and I'm fully satisfied with all the detailed information about the EU I can find in this book.
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on 3 April 2013
I brought it as my MA textbook. It was a brandly new one and well packaged. The paper quality is very good.
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on 18 February 2013
Good book but not broad in its scope. Talks of the politics in the European Union but could delve further.
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