Jonathan Laurence

Jonathan Laurence is Professor of Political Science at Boston College and an affiliate of the Center for European Studies at Harvard University, where he received his Ph.D. in 2006. Born and raised in New York City, he is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Jonathan has held visiting appointments in Paris, Rome, Berlin, New York and Washington and he has conducted research across Western Europe, Turkey and North Africa. From 2003-2018, he was Nonresident Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy studies at the Brookings Institution. Since 2018, he is the director of Reset Dialogues US, an NGO that convenes international seminars and publishes research on democracy and religious and cultural pluralism. At Boston College, he is a member of the Provost’s Advisory Council, the Administrative Hearing Board, the Institute for Liberal Arts and the Journalism Steering Committee.

Laurence is author of The Emancipation of Europe’s Muslims (Princeton, 2012) and Integrating Islam (with Justin Vaïsse, Brookings, 2006). His new book, Coping with Defeat (Princeton 2020), is a comparative study of Islamic and Catholic institutions’ relations with the modern state, from the end of religious empire to the present day.

The Emancipation of Europe’s Muslims was the subject of a New York Times Op-Ed and was praised by The Economist as “an original and thought-provoking study.” Foreign Affairs called it “the subtlest and most solidly researched analysis of European policies towards Islam.” Emancipation received the American Political Science Association’s 2013 Hubert Morken prize for Best Book in Religion and Politics and its 2013 Prize for Best Book in Migration or Citizenship.

Prof. Laurence’s research has been featured in The Economist,  The Washington Post, NPR, PBS, CNN, Al Jazeera, and his articles have been published by European Political Science, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, International Crisis Group, Le Monde, The New York Times, Perspectives on Politics, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung  and other US and European periodicals and think tanks.

His first book, Integrating Islam: Political and Religious Challenges in Contemporary France (with Justin Vaisse), was published by Brookings Institution Press (2006) and, in French, by Odile Jacob in 2007.  The New York Review of Books noted it as an “authoritative and optimistic reading of the successes and failures of cultural integration” in France. Both Integrating Islam and Emancipation were named one of Choice magazine’s ”Outstanding Academic Titles” of the year (2007 and 2012).

Laurence was a FAFO-Norway Research Council fellow and visiting fellow at CERI-Sciences Po (Paris) in 2015, a 2012 Berlin prize fellow at the American Academy in Berlin, senior fellow at the Transatlantic Academy (2008-9), and a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations (2008-2013).  He has also been a guest researcher at Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin, a visiting professor at Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali (LUISS) Guido Carli in Rome, a Council on the US and Italy visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, and a guest researcher at New York University and at Sciences Po-Paris. He sits on the advisory boards of Reset Dialogue of Civilizations (Rome), the Center for the Study of Terrorism (University of Rome – Tor Vergata) and the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (University of Sussex – UK).

He completed undergraduate work summa cum laude at Cornell (B.A., 1998) and received a Certificat d’Etudes Politiques at Sciences Po – Paris (1997). Laurence defended his doctoral thesis in Harvard University’s Department of Government (GSAS) in 2005 and received the American Political Science Association’s Harold D. Lasswell Prize for best Ph.D. dissertation on public policy in 2004 or 2005.




Photo 1 (Credit: Caitlin Cunningham, Boston College)

Photo 2 (Credit: Caitlin Cunningham, Boston College)

Photo 3 (Credit: American Academy in Berlin)

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