CEUR Working Paper No 3, October 2011

Nick Sitter

The Study of EU Politics in the UK and Ireland

The study of European Union politics in the UK and Ireland exploded onto the academic scene in the mid-1990s. In 1990 even the best-stocked university bookshops featured little more than a single shelf of books on the European Community; by 2010 a full wall would no longer provide sufficient space. In 1990 the student of EC politics could easily gain a good overview of the relevant literature on politics, international relations and economics, and even law; two decades later it is difficult enough to keep up with developments in one of these fields. The present paper provides an overview of the development of the British and Irish literature on the EU, from the early debates on European integration to the broad area that makes up European Union politics today.The study of the politics of European integration has proven particularly challenging because the EU changes faster than most other polities, because the study of the EU requires knowledge of both international relations and comparative politics, and because the EU is more heterogeneous than most other political units.