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European Parties and the European Integration Process, 1945–1992

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Edited By Lucia Bonfreschi, Giovanni Orsina and Antonio Varsori

The present volume brings together three different traditions of historical study: national politics, European integration, and political parties. Since the 1980s, there has been an enlargement of the scope of political history. This attempt to transcend national boundaries can intersect with the new strands of European integration history, paying much more attention to transnational perspectives and forces. The chapters comprised in this book attempt to forge a dialogue between these new methodologies and the study of political parties in manifold ways. Firstly, in the study of party foreign and European politics – how parties have perceived themselves as belonging not only to the national political game, but also to a wider transnational, and European one. Secondly, party history can transcend national boundaries through the study of international and European party cooperation. Thirdly, it can offer worthwhile avenues of study on how political families deal with European integration not along ideological cleavages but along national ones. This volume fills a crucial gap of European historiography by comparing parties’ discourses/platforms/policies on European integration and by developing national, comparative and transnational approaches.
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The Celtic Tiger Prepares to Roar. Irish Parties, Leaders and European Integration, 1961-1992

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The Celtic Tiger Prepares to Roar

Irish Parties, Leaders and European Integration, 1961-1992

Massimo PIERMATTEI

Adjunct professor, Università della Tuscia, Viterbo

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Studies on the impact of the European integration process on national and European political cultures had attracted very little attention up until a few years ago. As Gaffney has remarked “the literature on political parties in the Union, however, is minimal (…) we can say therefore that very little of the literature on integration is on political parties, and very little of the literature on political parties is on integration”.1 However, the relevance of the European dimension within a political culture has grown since the first direct elections of the European Parliament – EP – in 1979, when each party had to get to grips with European integration issues, both to gain more MEPs in Strasbourg than its competitors and to jumpstart the EEC policies foreseen under the Single European Act (SEA).2 The fall of the Berlin Wall and the signature of the Maastricht Treaty marked the beginning of a new season, more conflictual and complex, in the relationship between the European integration process and political cultures. Studies in this field have to take into account a complex triangle formed by the interactions between: 1) European integration issues – policies, new treaties, etc.; 2) the dynamics of domestic policy – government, party system, etc.; and 3) the peculiarities of each party ← 361 | 362 → and the development of its political culture – its...

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