A solid understanding of post-Cold War Europe is essential for students to comprehend the changing global order and the challenges that the United States will face in the years ahead. As American relations with Europe change, it is imperative for students to grasp that the future will be shaped by traditional diplomacy and a mutual awareness of shared interests, rather than a preoccupation with military-strategic threats ? and that in this emerging relationship, knowledge is power. CONTEMPORARY EUROPEAN POLITICS has two main purposes: to examine current issues and trends within key European nation-states, and to look at Europe's progress toward a goal'building an "ever closer union"?that is ultimately incompatible with the nation-state system. The first goal necessarily focuses readers on the habits of thought and behavior, as well as governmental institutions and processes, long associated with sovereign states; the second goal leads students to investigate the varying degrees to which sovereignty and nationalism have been superseded without being formally relinquished.Magstadt, Thomas M. is the author of 'Contemporary European Politics A Comparative Perspective', published 2006 under ISBN 9780534577766 and ISBN 0534577768.