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2013 Hubert Morken Award for Best Book in Religion and Politics          American Political Science Association

2013 Award for Best Book in Migration and Citizenship                                                               - American Political Science Association

                                         2012 “Outstanding Academic Title”                                                - Choice (American Library Association)



“Perhaps the subtlest and most solidly researched analysis of European policies toward Islam… Laurence establishes firm ground for hope.” 

– Andrew Moravcsik, Foreign Affairs

• 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.” 

– The Economist

“A study of European governments’ recent approaches to their Muslim populations that usefully draws on the historic experience of other minorities in Europe”  

Timothy Garton Ash, The New York Review of Books

“[A] reference volume on the policies that governments across Western Europe have adopted in their attempts to better integrate Muslim communities”  

– Joshua Sinai, Washington Times

• “The strength of a theoretical work like this one is that it offers a master narrative to understand long-term trends in a number of countries… 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

“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…  It goes beyond simplistic dichotomies and clichés, and provides a much-needed, broad perspective on this important subject.”

– Ahmet Kuru, Choice

“Laurence’s book is filled with thoughtful reflections and deep insights about one of the most fundamental political issues of our time. [It] 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.”

– Reza Azarian, European Societies

 • “Laurence’s study is rigorously researched and a noteworthy contribution to the field.”

Sanam Vakil, The International Spectator

“A fine-tuned and convincing analysis [with] a comparative edge over earlier studies [and] a fresh theoretical grasp … The array of timely topics, and issues it covers, make the book an interesting read for policy-makers and practitioners … Written in an accessible language, this comprehensive, easy to follow assessment of state policies toward Muslims is a pleasurable read for the general public interested in the controversies of Muslims’ presence in Europe.” 

– Arolda Elbasani, Nationalities Papers: The Journal of Nationality and Ethnicity

• “The Emancipation of Europe’s Muslims provides a rich and insightful comparative study of the integration strategies put in place in the last 15 years by the different European countries. [...] The original contributions made by the book make it very much worth reading.”

– Silvia Cavasola, Plurilogue: Politics and Philosophy Reviews

• “Laurence remarkably points out a generalizable process beyond European nation-state borders… He provides a fresh, balanced, and nuanced analysis of state–mosque relations in post-9/11 Europe.”

– Mustafa Gurbuz, Sociological Forum

• “Alarmists and victimists both neglect the positive role of liberal state institutions in the process of Islam and Muslim integration. A recent comparative and more institution-focused literature has partially fixed this problem. [Laurence provides] a more differentiated picture… of governments trying to steer the process of institutional integration through ‘neocorporatist’ means.”

– Christian Joppke, West European Politics

• “ [A] crucial contribution and should be used by all researchers in the field.”

– Sunier Thijl, Journal of Muslims in Europe


• “Un livre sérieux et très bien documenté”

Muslims in Europe, September 2014

• “A beautifully written model of original historical as well as contemporary qualitative research, offering fresh analysis of crucial current issues”

Rogers Smith, University of Pennsylvania, Citation for 2013 Award for Best Book in Migration and Citizenship, Vol. 2, No.1, Winter 2013/2014

“A remarkably accurate and comprehensive study of European Islam that transcends clichés and polemics. Laurence brilliantly elucidates the long-term trends that are transforming the children of migrants into European Muslims, acknowledging the tensions as well as the achievements of the process.”

– Olivier Roy, European University Institute, Florence

“A brilliantly mature book about a topic that frequently provokes sophomoric exaggeration. The book is remarkable for its practical acumen and comparative-historical depth. The Emancipation of Europe’s Muslims is a unique accomplishment. It presents a strong alternative to current so-called common wisdom.”

– Jytte Klausen, author of The Cartoons That Shook the World

“A gem whose light shines in a direction and with an intensity that [Christopher Caldwell's] brooding darkness would not countenance.”

– Bruce B. Lawrence, Director of Islamic Studies, Duke University

“A splendid comparison of the management of religious–and especially Islamic–conflict… Laurence arrays a range of convincing material to show that these countries followed similar pathways in managing their relations with Islam. The book holds out hope that Muslims may eventually be integrated within the political communities of these major European nations.”

– Sidney G. Tarrow, Cornell University



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.

Series: Princeton Studies in Muslim Politics. Dale F. Eickelman and Augustus Richard Norton, Series Editors.

• Read the New York Times Op-Ed here

• Book Launch at The Brookings Institution with commentary by Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja, Prof. Ömer Taspinar (Brookings) and Prof. Peter Mandaville (George Mason Univ.), February 2012. Transcript/audio available here.

• A conversation with the Princeton University Press Blog on recent controversies involving religious diversity in Europe.

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