The book aims to offer an accessible, comprehensive and up-to-date one volume comparative overview of the systems of government and politics in the four main countries of central Europe. It will be of use to courses in modern history, politics and government and international relations that wish to integrate study of these future EU members into their courses. It will also be useful to politicians, businessmen and experts who need a handy introduction to the politics of the region. All of the key institutions are analyzed to trace the evolution of these countries from part of the Soviet bloc to independent democratic states. The role of civil society in the period of transition and the countries' future prospects at the heart of Europe are analyzed.
JOHN FITZMAURICE studied politics and economics and has worked for the European Commission in Brussels since British accession to the European Union. He also lectures in politics at the Universite Libre de Bruxelles. He has written extensively on European Politics. In recent years, he has specialised in Central and Eastern Europe, writing books on Austria, the Baltic States and the Gabcikovo/Nagymaros Dam conflict between Hungary and Slovakia.