The Council of Europe : Structure, History and Issues in European Politics book cover
1st Edition

The Council of Europe
Structure, History and Issues in European Politics

ISBN 9780415571197
Published January 12, 2012 by Routledge
216 Pages

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Book Description

The book provides a succinct and much needed introduction to the Council of Europe from its foundation through the early conventions on human rights and culture to its expansion into the fields of social affairs, environment and education.

Founded in 1949 within a month of NATO, the Council of Europe was the hub of political debate about integrating Europe after the Second World War. After the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, it was thrust into the limelight again as the test bed where all newly liberated European states had to prove their democratic credentials. Now it is the political arena in which the closely integrating states of the European Union face the twenty European states still outside the EU. Its European Court of Human Rights hands down judgments which all member states must respect, and its monitoring activities report on conditions concerning democracy, human rights and the rule of law across the whole continent. The Council of Europe has negotiated international agreements against the death penalty, torture, corruption, cybercrime and terrorism. It works for political pluralism, media freedom and fair elections. The treatment for minorities, efficient local government and strengthening non-government organisations are part of its daily agenda. Today the states of Greater Europe come together to discuss their present and their future in the Council of Europe

Providing a wealth of factual information and describing and analysing the key debates within the organization, this work will be of great interest to students and scholars of international organizations, European politics and international relations.

Table of Contents

1. Fitting the Council of Europe into the Picture  2. Human Rights: A Convention and a Court  3. Human Rights: Protection and Promotion  4. Specialised Agencies: Coalitions of the Willing  5. Holding it all Together  6. The Road not Taken  7. The Wilderness Years  8. Pan-European Prospects  9. Redefining the Problem  10. A Common Body of Standards

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Martyn Bond is Visiting Professor of European Politics and Policy at Royal Holloway, University of London, and Patron of the University Association for Contemporary European Studies. He is also a Distinguished Fellow of the European Business School, Regent’s College, Senior Fellow of the Salzburg Seminar in Global Studies and Deputy Chairman of the London Press Club.


'Martyn Bond is especially thorough in his treatment of the political context within which the Council has had to operate. The Council of Europe spells out in practical terms some of the problems of establishing a multinational political authority in post-World War II Europe and of maintaining its effectiveness. It is probably the most thorough account of how the Council of Europe works and its achievements to date.' John Parry, Federal Union -, March 2012