New Book on the Politics of ‘Integration’ in Britain and Germany

Social Justice through Citizenship? The Politics of Muslim Integration in Britain and Germany

The accommodation of Islam in European societies has received a great deal of negative publicity, especially since Al-Qaeda terrorism became increasingly perceived as a ‘home grown’ issue in Europe. In addition to heightened surveillance and policing, European governments implemented novel ‘integration measures’ focusing on Muslim communities. This book is concerned with the discursive framing of these integration policies in two European countries, Britain and Germany. Investigating formalised consultations with German and British Muslim community representatives and the introduction of new legislation protecting from religious discrimination, the study examines how salient discourses of citizenship conceive of social problems and their potential solutions and thereby frame the ‘Muslim question’ in Europe.

Based on such comparative empirical research, the book makes a contribution to theorizing about citizenship and social justice. The study examines theoretically and empirically whether and how visions of citizenship (such as multiculturalism, civic republicanism, civic universalism or cosmopolitanism) that inform policy debates facilitate or inhibit an understanding of social inequalities as structural, thus as rooted the cultural, economic and political order of society. The argument is that citizenship is not a static holistic regime, but shaped by competing discourses that can facilitate or inhibit the articulation and translation of equality claims into collective arrangements. Lewicki argues that citizenship studies need to move away from defining citizenship as a single, monolithic regime and account for its contested nature. The study shows that salient academic and empirical citizenship discourses insufficiently problematize structural inequalities that affect Muslim minorities in Europe. The book thereby proposes a more explicitly social justice based understanding of terms such as ‘citizenship’ or ‘integration’.
The book received an enthusiastic review in The Times Higher Education Supplement (