Bleich argues that Muslims have been constructed as ethno-racial outsiders in Western Europe over the past twenty years. Although the term "Muslim" was scarcely applied to immigrant communities in the decades following World War Two, the late 1980s and then the early 21st century marked two significant turning points in European conceptions of Muslims. He also argues that this construction of images was a political process, with media, political, and civic elites contributing to perceptions of Muslims. He concludes that Europe is at a cross-roads with respect to the direction such images will take in the future.
Erik Bleich is Associate Professor of Political Science at Middlebury College. His research focuses on the politics of race, ethnicity, and religion in Western Europe. He has published articles on these topics in Comparative Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Theory and Society, and French Politics, Culture & Society. In 2003, his book Race Politics in Britain and France: Ideas and Policymaking since the 1960s was published by Cambridge University Press. He is currently writing on West European states' responses to racial and religious violence.
Charles P. Scott symposium. Middlebury College. Dept. of Religion Middlebury College. Rohatyn Center for International Affairs Atwater Commons
Part of the series entitled Religion, nation and state
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