CES: Dilemmas of Inclusion: The Political Representation of Muslims in Europe


Friday, February 5, 2016, 2:15pm to 4:00pm


Adolphus Busch Hall, Cabot Room

Two central questions motivate Dilemmas of Inclusion: The Political Representation of Muslims in Europe: First, when and how do political parties include minority groups who face hostility from large segments of existing voters? Second, how do secular social democratic parties – the typical agents of minority integration – include groups whose views on social issues such as religion, sexuality and gender equality stand in direct opposition to those adopted in party programs and by core constituents? Dilemmas of Inclusion thus addresses how the multicultural dilemma, i.e., the tensions faced by liberal states that recognize internally illiberal cultural groups, plays out in the electoral sphere. It demonstrates that parties – irrespective of their ideological leanings – include minorities only when these can deliver pivotal votes. Yet, this short-run electoral strategy ultimately undermines parties’ ideological coherence and causes them to lose elections in the long run. Though politicians denounce Muslims’ inward-looking communalism and patriarchal social structures, the book bring to light that they exploit these traits for electoral gain and in the process alter the nature of electoral politics and the identity of parties.

*Please note: There will be no presentation at this seminar. Attendees are expected to read a paper and be prepared to enter into a discussion.

Rafaela Dancygier Assistant Professor of Politics and Public Affairs , Princeton University

Sponsors: Seminar on the State and Capitalism since 1800

Contact: Peter Hall, phall@fas.harvard.edu