Government and Politics in Western Europe offers a clear and accessible, yet sophisticated, comparative introduction to the political institutions of Western Europe's four largest countries: Britain, France, Italy, and Germany. The third edition of this successful and established studenttextbook has been thoroughly revised to cover not only developments at national level, but also the growing integration of national politics with the politics of the European Union, including: Two completely new chapters on the European Union which set the EU in the context of the national political systems studied elsewhere in the book, supplying a concise but thorough introduction to European institutions, and presenting the main theoretical perspectives on the EU. An extensive updating covering such recent events as the Left's election victories of 1997 in Britain and France and the collapse of the Italian party system in the mid-1990s. New tables and diagrams providing invaluable reference material for key facts and processes. Clearly written and comprehensive, this text will be essential reading for all students of comparative politics, European studies, and West European politics.