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The nature and role of the state and its institutions and the relationship between the state, these institutions and society are undergoing fundamental transformations. Arguably, nowhere are these developments more evident than in contemporary Europe.

On the one hand, European integration has undoubtedly challenged the role and powers of the nation state. While nation states remain in control of many aspects of domestic politics and policy, more and more policies are being shaped by decisions made at the European Union level. While these trends raise all sorts of questions about issues of sovereignty, democratic accountability, representation and efficiency, they also open up new opportunities for the nation states to cooperate more closely, and for the EU itself to develop






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