The Emancipation of Europe's Muslims: The State's Role in Minority Integration

The Emancipation of Europe's Muslims: The State's Role in Minority Integration

by Jonathan Laurence
     
 

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The Emancipation of Europe’s Muslims traces how governments across Western Europe have responded to the growing presence of Muslim immigrants in their countries over the past fifty years. Drawing on hundreds of in-depth interviews with government officials and religious leaders in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Morocco,

Overview

The Emancipation of Europe’s Muslims traces how governments across Western Europe have responded to the growing presence of Muslim immigrants in their countries over the past fifty years. Drawing on hundreds of in-depth interviews with government officials and religious leaders in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Morocco, and Turkey, Jonathan Laurence challenges the widespread notion that Europe’s Muslim minorities represent a threat to liberal democracy. He documents how European governments in the 1970s and 1980s excluded Islam from domestic institutions, instead inviting foreign powers like Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and Turkey to oversee the practice of Islam among immigrants in European host societies. But since the 1990s, amid rising integration problems and fears about terrorism, governments have aggressively stepped up efforts to reach out to their Muslim communities and incorporate them into the institutional, political, and cultural fabrics of European democracy.

The Emancipation of Europe’s Muslims places these efforts--particularly the government-led creation of Islamic councils--within a broader theoretical context and gleans insights from government interactions with groups such as trade unions and Jewish communities at previous critical junctures in European state-building. By examining how state-mosque relations in Europe are linked to the ongoing struggle for religious and political authority in the Muslim-majority world, Laurence sheds light on the geopolitical implications of a religious minority’s transition from outsiders to citizens. This book offers a much-needed reassessment that foresees the continuing integration of Muslims into European civil society and politics in the coming decades.

Editorial Reviews

Economist
The Emancipation of Europe's Muslims . . . looks at the largely unnoticed ways in which European governments have begun to integrate Muslims and Muslim organisations into public life. . . . Relying on extensive research and a wide range of interviews, Mr. Laurence has written an original and thought-provoking study.
Foreign Affairs
[Laurence's] book is perhaps the subtlest and most solidly researched analysis of European policies toward Islam. . . . Laurence establishes firm ground for hope.
— Andrew Moravcsik
Choice
Laurence examines the transformation of the relations between Western European states and their Muslim populations. This ethnographically rich, well-documented book successfully reveals that European states (France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and the UK) have more similarities than differences in terms of their interactions with Muslims. . . . [The Emancipation of Europe's Muslims] is very informative; it includes several figures and tables about Muslim demography, organizations, and representation in Western Europe. By emphasizing the complexity of state-Islam relations in Europe, it goes beyond simplistic dichotomies and clichés, and provides a much-needed, broad perspective on this important subject.
Foreign Affairs - Andrew Moravcsik
[Laurence's] book is perhaps the subtlest and most solidly researched analysis of European policies toward Islam. . . . Laurence establishes firm ground for hope.
European Societies - Reza Azarian
Laurence's book is filled with thoughtful reflections and deep insights about one of the most fundamental political issues of our time and presents the result of a meticulous study of a long and complex political process, masterfully documented and made vivid with the help of a substantial body of evidence collected from a number of countries across Europe.
International-Spectator - Sanam Vakil
Laurence's study is rigorously researched and a noteworthy contribution to the field.
Journal of Church and State - J. Christopher Soper
The Emancipation of Europe's Muslims is a very impressive book. It is historically informed, theoretically rich, and comprehensive in its scope.
From the Publisher
Co-Winner of the 2013 Best Book Award in Migration and Citizenship, American Political Science Association

Winner of the 2013 Hubert Morken Award for Best Book, Religion and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association

One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2012

"The Emancipation of Europe's Muslims . . . looks at the largely unnoticed ways in which European governments have begun to integrate Muslims and Muslim organisations into public life. . . . Relying on extensive research and a wide range of interviews, Mr. Laurence has written an original and thought-provoking study."Economist

"[Laurence's] book is perhaps the subtlest and most solidly researched analysis of European policies toward Islam. . . . Laurence establishes firm ground for hope."—Andrew Moravcsik, Foreign Affairs

"Laurence examines the transformation of the relations between Western European states and their Muslim populations. This ethnographically rich, well-documented book successfully reveals that European states (France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and the UK) have more similarities than differences in terms of their interactions with Muslims. . . . [The Emancipation of Europe's Muslims] is very informative; it includes several figures and tables about Muslim demography, organizations, and representation in Western Europe. By emphasizing the complexity of state-Islam relations in Europe, it goes beyond simplistic dichotomies and clichés, and provides a much-needed, broad perspective on this important subject."Choice

"Laurence's book is filled with thoughtful reflections and deep insights about one of the most fundamental political issues of our time and presents the result of a meticulous study of a long and complex political process, masterfully documented and made vivid with the help of a substantial body of evidence collected from a number of countries across Europe."—Reza Azarian, European Societies

"Laurence's study is rigorously researched and a noteworthy contribution to the field."—Sanam Vakil, International-Spectator

"The Emancipation of Europe's Muslims is a very impressive book. It is historically informed, theoretically rich, and comprehensive in its scope."—J. Christopher Soper, Journal of Church and State

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781400840373
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
12/19/2011
Series:
Princeton Studies in Muslim Politics
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
392
File size:
6 MB

Meet the Author

Jonathan Laurence is associate professor of political science at Boston College.

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