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The European Studies Undergraduate Paper Prize is designed to encourage interest in the field of European Studies by rewarding talented undergraduates who have conducted original research in the field. Thus, the European Studies Undergraduate Paper Prize is given for the best advanced research paper written in English on any subject in European Studies as part of an undergraduate university degree program.

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This book looks at the way in which the Committee of the Regions (CoR) can influence EU policy making from below, despite its relatively weak position in the decision-making process. Bringing together theoretical arguments about the central role of the formation of judgment in addition to the more conventionally emphasized expression of will, with an up-to-date account of the CoR’s institutional development and activities, Simona Piattoni and Justus Schönlau make a strong case not to overlook the significance of the Committee’s contribution to EU-level democracy.

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Under what conditions is decentralisation a salient issue for state-wide political parties? It is argued in this article that the extent to which state-wide parties emphasise decentralisation depends on their strategic considerations: on their overall ideology, on the electoral incentives created by the context in which they compete, and on the interaction between the two. The results of the analysis of party manifestos in 31 countries since 1945 are as follows. First, parties that pay greater attention to cultural matters relative to economic matters tend to talk more about decentralisation. Second, the systemic salience of decentralisation also encourages parties to talk more about decentralisation. Third, the larger the regionally based ethnic groups within a country, the more salience all state-wide political parties will attach to decentralisation. Finally, only parties that put greater relative emphasis on cultural matters tend to respond to the electoral threat of regionalist parties. The influence of territorial diversity on the salience of decentralisation thus works through two channels and is partly conditioned by political parties’ ideological profile.