Recent Commentary/Events

“France: Secularism vs Islam?” Turkish State Broadcasting (TRT) October 2020;  Interview with Good Morning Europe, Euronews, October 2020

The Road Ahead for US Democracy: The Creative Power of Crises,” Reset DOC, June 2020

Interview with Le Monde, “La France crée les conditions de l’échec de son utopie universaliste,” November 2019 (See full text of interview in the print edition here)

Panelist, “Bridging Divides: An Interdisciplinary Discussion on Migration and Belonging,” Harvard Center for European Studies, October 2019

Keynote Speaker, “After Political Violence: The State Regulation of ‘Immigrant Religion,’” 48th Annual NAIIMS Conference, September 2019

Interview with The Economist, “Western Governments are Telling Muslim Women Not to Cover Up,” July 2019

Interview with Associated Press, “Government Restrictions on Religion Increasing Worldwide,” July 2019

Interview with The Economist, “Anglophones and Francophones Still Approach Islam Differently,” October 2018

Op-Ed, “Seeing Iran’s Shadow in North Africa,” Reuters Opinion, October 2017

Discussant, “Turkey and the West by Kemal Kirisci,” Ozyegin Forum, Harvard Center for European Studies, October 2017

Jonathan addressed a bipartisan group of 19 members of the House and Senate at a meeting on “Integration, Refugees and Islam” on Capitol Hill, organized by the Aspen Congressional Program, July 2017

Interview with NPR-California, “2 political mavericks, Presidents Trump and Macron meet in Paris,” July 2017

Interview with The Week, “Many European Countries have no terrorism problem. Why?,” July 2017

Speaker, “Coping with Defeat: Sunni Islam, Roman Catholicism and the Modern State,” Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin, June 2017

Lifetime member, Council on Foreign Relations, June 2017

Speaker, “Global Authoritarianism and the Future of Democracy,” Reset DOC – Fondazione Cini, Venice, June 2017

Interview with Radio Canada, “La politique étrangère selon Trump,” May 2017

Speaker, “La géopolitique des alliances américaines dans l’ère Trump,” Forum Saint Laurent, Montreal, May 2017

Consultant, Last Week Tonight, “French Elections,” April 2017

Interview with Jewish Week, “Dreyfus Affair in the Age of Le Pen,” April 2017

Speaker, “Nuove frontiere democratiche di fronte ai trend illiberali,” Reset DOC – Università di Milano, March 2017

Commentator, Edition Spéciale Investiture Donald Trump, BFMTV, January 2017

The Origins of the Lega / Northern League in Italy

I recently rediscovered this and am posting the full text online for the first time:

J. Laurence (1998) The Lega Nord and the Italian News Media, Cornell University


How Salafism Came to Europe | Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung | The Economist | July 2016

[The article is available here in English and here in Arabic translation]

After Paris, 13 November 2015 | NPR | NYT | Foreign Affairs

• Laïcité without Égalité?, [available via Brookings], Foreign Affairs, Nov. 19, 2015

On the French Muslim community and the state, Al Jazeera, Nov. 19, 2015

Background Q&A / FAQ on Terror in ParisReligion & Politics, Nov. 18, 2015

The complicated relationship of France and the Muslim world, WHYY – Philadelphia Public Radio, Nov. 18, 2015

What it means to be Muslim in France, WGBH – Boston Public Radio, Nov. 17, 2015

More scrutiny of those who go to Syria, and a long range view, are needed, New York Times – Op Ed / Room for Debate, Nov. 16, 2015

After Paris Killings, Focus Returns to Muslim Communities in France, NPR – All Things Considered, Nov. 15, 2015



Essays: After Charlie Hebdo, Hyper Cacher & Lyon | Foreign Affairs | Slate | CNN

  • “The Right Message: Marine Le Pen and the National Front are ready to seize the moment,” (8 January)

Essay: Tunisia, The Courage of Compromise | Reset DOC Italy

Live Interviews from Paris: CNN | MSNBC

Print & Radio: After Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher | WSJ | NYT | Economist

Interview: Morocco’s Regional Islam policy * | Libération


Entretien paru dans Libération: “La Formation religieuse cache une lutte d’influence…”

L’objet de l’entretien était le Maroc et sa politique régionale, mais à cause d’un problème de compréhension de part ou d’autre (l’entretien s’est tenu en langue française), une erreur s’est glissée et un malentendu s’est introduit portant sur les formations religieuses en Algérie. Le Ministère des Affaires Religieuses algérien fait justement un effort sérieux bien d’encadrer l’Islam algérien en insistant sur une durée de formation importante. Le journal a accepté de corriger l’article pour les archives.

Essay: A Historic Compromise in Tunisia? | Brookings Institution | The Economist

“…The birthplace of the Arab Spring offers a tantalizing third way toward Islamist participation in the democratic process: a Goldilocks outcome between Turkish majoritarianism and Egyptian militarism…” Click here to read the essay on Brookings UpFront. (Available here in Italiano).

The discussed the UpFront essay and its implications for European Islam in a posting, “Carthage, Rome and Beyond” by Erasmus. Click here to read.


Op-Ed: French Jihadism and Jewish Flight | Brookings

From “French Jihadism and Jewish Flight” by Jonathan Laurence (Brookings Institution, October 2014)


“…Currently home to Europe’s largest Muslim and Jewish communities, 2014 France will be remembered as the year that record numbers of French Muslims and Jews heeded the old populist call to ‘love it or leave it.’

… Unlike Germany, whose postwar vocation included “mastering the past,” French politics never fully digested the impact of the last century’s colonial and wartime history on the current political position of its minorities. As a result, Jews and Muslims in France feel more victimized by discrimination than any of their European brethren – despite the fact that Jewish and Muslim community organizations enjoy excellent access to policymakers….”

Click here to read the article  (October 2014)

Interviews: US-Germany Spying Scandal | BBC | La Repubblica

Jonathan discussed German-US relations with The World on BBC/PRI, La Repubblica, The World Today on Australian ABC, and with The Hill (Washington, DC).

Essay: The Berlin Republic in the 21st Century | Brookings

Center on the US and Europe, The Brookings Institution, No.55, June 2014

In his latest US-Europe Analysis Paper, Jonathan Laurence discusses the major challenges facing Germany in its quest for a foreign and defense policy that can best complement its economic might. Download the paper here.

Interviews: US Visits of Chancellor Merkel and President Hollande | The Hill | Les Echos

Jonathan provided commentary to The Hill in the article “NSA looms over Merkel-Obama Visit” 

Click here to read Jonathan’s interview with L’Opinion; and in Les Echos (February 2014)

Laurence contributed a short article on “François Hollande’s France” to the Transatlantic Academy’s first annual report on the State of the Transatlantic World (2014).

News: Algeria Research visit | BC Chronicle

The Boston College Chronicle wrote an article about Laurence’s recent field research trip to Algeria in February.

Op Ed: Germany’s New Grand Coalition | Brookings

“The new German government could seize this moment to live up to its real strengths as a broker, bridge-builder…”

Read the essay by Jonathan Laurence on Brookings UpFront here.

Op Ed: Islam between Turkey and Germany, and Morocco and France | Die Welt | La Croix

Click here to read Jonathan’s Op-Ed (19. 12. 13, Die Welt, in German) about Chancellor Angela Merkel’s new citizenship law and its link to the development of German Islam.

The article is available here in English.

Jonathan’s related research was discussed in La Croix  (31. 12, 13, in French)

Video: Book Interview | New Mexico PBS | October 2013

Click here to watch the discussion about The Emancipation of Europe’s Muslims conducted by Furhana Afrid on NM-PBS’s In Focus talk show.

Essay: Islam and the Left | Dissent Magazine | The Economist

Jonathan’s article on the relationship of European social democratic parties with Muslim voters is featured in the Fall 2013 issue of Dissent Magazine.

Erasmus responded to the Dissent essay on The “Islam and the European Left.”

Interviews: United States and Syria | BBC | Il Messaggero

Jonathan Laurence was interviewed by Dotun Adebayo on BBC 5Click here to listen (Minute 8:00 to minute 24:00), 9 September 2013

 Il Messaggero (Rome): “Siria: Barack Obama è un moderato,” 4 September 2013

“Why France is willing to go to war,” Maclean’s (Canada), 11 September 2013

• “Keeping up with the crisis in Syria,” Boston Magazine, 13 September 2013

News: “Emancipation” named Best Book on Religion and Politics and Best Book on Migration and Citizenship | APSA 2013

The Emancipation of Europe’s Muslims received two prizes from the American Political Science Association in 2013:

The 2013 Hubert Morken Award for Best Book in Religion and Politics (2011-2012) and the 2013 Prize for Best Book in Migration and Citizenship.

Click Here to read book reviews and endorsements of Emancipation.

Op-Ed: Germany v. France on Syria | Der Spiegel |

Click here to read the commentary by Jonathan Laurence, “Germany Flexes its Muscles on Syria,” Der Spiegel – online, 23 August 2013:

“Germany has urged caution in response to French calls for the use of force in Syria. Its stance is more than a mere aversion to military intervention, however. The country is quietly asserting itself and fleshing out its foreign policy.”

In French: “Sur la Syrie, l’Allemagne montre ses muscles face à la France,”, 26 August 2013

In Italian: “La Germania flette i muscoli sulla Siria,”, 27 August 2013

Op-Ed: Catholic-Muslim Relations under Pope Francis | Brookings

Click here to read the essay on the Vatican and Muslims: “Pope Francis’s ‘Decretum de Islamicus,’” Brookings UpFront, August 2013 [republished in The Glocal (Hong Kong)].

Click here to read the article in Italian: “Il ‘decretum de Islamicus’ di Papa Francesco,” (Translation by Claudia Avolio).

Op-Ed: Religious Turf War in the Near East | Der Tagesspiegel | Brookings

Click here to read Jonathan’s Op-Ed, “Von der Türkei bis Ägypten: Religiöser Revierkampf” (in German) from the July 20 Der Tagesspiegel. (PDF version here)

Click here to the English-language essay about the fate of “official Islam” in the context of current unrest on Brookings’ UpFront:

“More than the Turkish government’s assault on the trees in Istanbul’s Gezi Park, the trigger for protestors’ outrage this month was arguably the Prime Minister Erdoğan’s plan to build a 1,500-person mosque in Taksim Square. Unlike recent disputes over mosques near Ground Zero or across from the Cologne Cathedral in Germany, protestors in Istanbul do not question Muslims’ right to build houses of worship. The Turkish taxpayers who demand these mosques be scrapped are articulating a desire for freedom from state religion.” (…)

Click here to read the article in Italian: “Dalla Turchia all’Egitto, i conflitti religiosi territoriali del Medio Oriente,” (Translation by Claudia Avolio)

Essay: The Eurocrisis & The New Franco-German Rituals | The National Interest

Click here to read Jonathan Laurence’s article about French-German relations in The National Interest (July 2013):

“The new Franco-German rituals—initial opposition followed by protracted negotiations and some concessions—help avoid creating moral hazard for debtor countries and has had a calming effect on international markets. One could describe Hollande’s approach as “altruistic misdirection.” Its effects are ultimately pro-European. Germany will continue to drag its feet—but it will do so while inching ever further away from its own nonstarters. These theatrical performances are not purely for domestic consumption. Germany’s “egotistical intransigence,” as French Socialists put it this spring, is good for Europe.”

News: Laurence’s Research cited in Washington Post and on CNN

After the Boston bombings of April 2013, Fareed Zakaria featured Jonathan’s research in his Washington Post Op-Ed and on his CNshow GPS to draw lessons from Europe on immigrant integration in the United States:

“What’s surprising is that things have been improving in Europe, where Muslim migrants have often had much greater problems assimilating. Jonathan Laurence of Boston College, who has done extensive research on Muslim communities in Europe, found that before 1990 European countries largely ignored their Muslim populations and allowed the embassies of countries such as Morocco, Algeria and Saudi Arabia to cater to their needs by building mosques and training imams. “This wasn’t multiculturalism so much as indifference,” Laurence wrote recently. Those countries had little interest in helping migrants assimilate; in fact, their efforts were to do the opposite: Maintain ties with the old country and old ways.” (cont’d…) – Washington Post, April 26, 2013

News: “Emancipation” named 2012 Outstanding Academic Title

The Emancipation of Europe’s Muslims was named one of Choice Magazine’sOutstanding Academic Titles: Top Books and Websites for 2012.” (Choice, v.50, no. 05, January 2013.)

Integrating Islam (Jonathan Laurence and Justin Vaisse) was named a 2007 Outstanding Academic Title.

Op-Ed: Neither Integration nor Assimilation | Der Tagesspiegel | NPR




Islam in Deutschland: Doppelter HandschlagDer Tagesspiegel, November 18, 2012. (PDF)

Two recent interviews on the same topic:

“The Berlin Journal,” NPR Berlin, November 2012


Der Lange Weg zur Integration,” Paris-Berlin Magazine, November 2012.

The Emancipation of Europe’s Muslims bei

Op-Ed: ‘No Bourgeoisie, No Democracy’: Obama and North Africa | Die Tageszeitung

The op-ed “Obamas Genie,” appeared in the Tageszeitung on October 25, 2012 (available in English)

[See other commentary on US, Europe and the Arab awakening here]

Op-Ed: US Elections and Transatlantic Relations | Süddeutsche Zeitung

Click to read the Op-Ed in the Suddeutsche Zeitung, October 2012 (English version)

“In the first presidential debate of the US election season, Governor Romney landed on the word “military” or “defense” in four of his last five sentences. Defense spending may be the one foreign policy difference where Romney believes he can get a toehold against a President who has restored foreign policy dominance to the Democratic party for the first time in decades. It is also the fundamental dimension where Republicans and Democrats disagree vis-à-vis our relationship with Europe….”

Video: “Integration or Emancipation?” American Academy in Berlin

Click here to watch “Integration or Emancipation? European Muslims between Mosque and State,” Daimler Lecture, American Academy in Berlin, October 9, 2012

Essay: Hollande Seeks Reset in Post-Arab Spring Maghreb | World Politics Review

Jonathan Laurence, World Politics Review, October 2012

Click here to read the article in World Politics Review:

“The post-Arab Spring environment has created an opportunity for France to recast its ambitions in the region, and since taking office, Hollande has approached French relationships in North Africa on a smaller scale than Sarkozy but with greater precision.”


Op-Ed: Wrong Signals on Religious Rights in Germany | Der Tagesspiegel

Click here to read “Wrong Signals,” Der Tagesspiegel, September 14, 2012 (Deutsch)

Essays/Interviews: The Arab Spring

“No Bourgeoisie, No Democracy”: Obama’s Democratization Policy in North Africa, Die Tageszeitung, October 25, 2012 (Available in English)

• “Midwife” or “Spectator”? U.S. Policies towards North Africa in the 21st Century, Arab Society in Revolt,  Cesare Merlini and Olivier Roy, Eds. Brookings 2012

•  “Will Europe Shrink From the Arab Spring” (article with Omer Taspinar), World Politics Review, December 2011

• US-European policies in Libya (interview), La Repubblica, August 2011

• “The Arab Spring in Transatlantic Perspective” (panel discussion with Ana Palacio, Tamara Wittes and Hugues Mingarelli)  The Brookings Institution, transcript here (See pp.97-142), May 2011

• Foreign policy choices facing the U.S. and Europe in the Middle East (interview), La Repubblica, April 2011

• “Obama’s Soft Power Strategy in the Mediterranean,”(article) Affari Internazionali, March 2011

• Developments in Egyptian politics (interview), Radio France Internationale, January 2011

Essay: François Hollande and Algerian Independence | Foreign Policy

France has never apologized for its treatment of colonial Algeria. Why not now?, Foreign Policy, July 5, 2012 (en français)

Interview: State-Church Relations in France | La Croix

La capacité des Européens à façonner une relation stable entre l’Etat et l’islam est essentielle,” La Croix (Click here for PDF), July 5, 2012




Op-Ed: Islam’s Place in Europe | CNN

An opinion piece for Fareed Zakaria’s Global Public Square on Islam’s Place in Europe on ; see also related article here.

Essay/Interviews: French Elections, Toulouse Attacks, Marseille | New York Times

• The US and new French President François Hollande (interview), Libération, May 2012

• “Le changement, c’est maintenant? The 2012 French Presidential Elections in Perspective” – Panel with Christopher Caldwell, James Hoag, Jonah Levy and Justin Vaïsse (click to listen to/read transcript of the panel discussions), The Brookings Institution, April 2012

• “Can the Toulouse effect save Sarkozy from defeat in France?” (interview),, April 2012

• “Islam in the Melting Pot of Marseille: A Charmed Life May not Last,” New York Times Room for Debate, March 22, 2012

 | Bahasa Indonesia

• “Sifting Through What We Know about the Toulouse Killings” (interview), NPR’s The Two-Way, March 2012

Op-Ed: Europe’s Failure to Integrate Muslims | Al Jazeera

• Click here to read “Europe’s Failure to integrate Muslims” (svenska)

Op-Ed: Integration in Germany | Deutsche Welle

• ”Don’t be fooled: Integration in Germany is making progress,” Deutsche Welle, March 9, 2012 (italiano)


• “Die Integration macht Fortschritte,” Qantara, April 2, 2012  (عربي)

Essay: France’s Beef with Islam | Foreign Policy

France’s Beef with IslamForeign, March 7, 2012

The Politics of Meat and Muslims in Election-Year France (interview), Christian Science, March 2, 2012

Op-Ed: How to Integrate Europe’s Muslims | New York Times

• “How to Integrate Europe’s Muslims,” The New York Times, Jan. 24, 2012 (français / nederlands)

• “State-Mosque Relations: The Other Half of the Story,” Today’s Zaman, Feb. 19, 2012

Deutsch  | Bahasa Indonesia  | Français  | اردو  | עברית  | عربي


Interview: Burkas: “Islam or Freedom?” | MSNBC | NPR – WAMU

Jonathan discussed the recent Vlaams Belang campaign against Islam/burkas in Belgium in a February 2012 interview with

In April 2011, he provided commentary on the 2011 niqab/burqa ban in France to

In July 2010, Jonathan appeared on the Diane Rehm Show (WAMU / NPR) to discuss the banning of facial veils in France. Click here to listen.

Interview: Norway Attacks | NPR – WHYY

Jonathan discussed the impact of the  July 2011 Norwegian attacks on European multiculturalism debates with The World (WGBH/BBC)Radio Times (WHYY/NPR)The Takeaway (WNYC/NPR), and the Christian Science Monitor and Veja Magazine (Brasil).

The March 2011 article he co-wrote with Justin Vaïsse about European disavowals of multiculturalism can be read here (Foreign Policy).

News: Turkish Cultural Center award

The Turkish Cultural Center of Boston recognized Jonathan Laurence with their “distinguished academician” award at their annual dinner in November 2011.

Interview: End of Eurabia | Financial Times

Jonathan spoke with the FT about the “end of Eurabia.” Click here to read the piece.

Essay: The Dis-Integration of Europe | Foreign Policy

European leaders are attacking ‘multiculturalism’ in a transparent ploy to appeal to far-right voters. But they’re threatening decades of progress in reaching out to Muslim minorities. Click here to read “The Dis-Integration of Europe,” by Jonathan Laurence and Justin Vaïsse. (Also available in Français / Nederlands / Español)

Chinese Investment in Europe, February 2011

Jonathan discussed recent Chinese investments in Europe.

Islam and Demography | The Economist

Jonathan was interviewed for an article about the Pew Report on The Future of the Global Muslim Population. Read the piece here.

Muslim integration in Europe | Rosbalt

Jonathan was interviewed about “Muslims’ push to integrate in Europe” by the Russian Federation news service Rosbalt; click here to read the interview.

Military Spending Cuts in Britain and America | Armed Forces Journal

The security strategy “A strong Britain in an Age of Uncertainty” can be read as a realistic blueprint for tough times, reflecting the priorities of a new government — chastened by what it says is the overreaching of its predecessors, but which nonetheless continues to endorse a global role for the UK. Click here to read the Op-Ed by Jonathan Laurence and P.W. Singer.

Pres. Obama and the Mid-Term Elections | Chaine Inter

Jonathan was interviewed about the significance of the 2010 midterm elections for Barack Obama’s presidency. Click here to listen (L’invité du jour – November 3) and here to read.

Bin Laden’s Threats against France | Foreign Policy

Jonathan Laurence and Justin Vaïsse co-authored an opinion piece for on Osama bin Laden’s recent threats against France and his demand that the burqa ban be repealed.

UK National Security Strategy at Brookings, October 2010

Jonathan responded to the UK Security Minister Pauline Neville-Jones’s presentation of her government’s new national security strategy on October 28th in a presentation at Brookings. Audio and a transcript of the one-hour event are available here.

Mid-Term Elections Preview, September 2010

Jonathan was interviewed on the subject of the upcoming US mid-term elections and the current climate of American politics in the Italian monthly L’interprete Internazionale. Click here to read the interview.

Europe 2030 – Book Launch in Lisbon, April 2010

A discussion of Europe 2030 with José Cutileiro, Carlos Gaspar, Rui Machete and José Manuel Durão Barroso at the Luso-American Development Foundation on April 23, 2010. Remarks available for download here and photos here.

Pres. Sarkozy’s Visit to the US, March 2010

On Nicolas Sarkozy’s visit to the United States (March 29, 2010). Click here for the full text.

Islam and National Identity in France, January 2010

“Islam and National Identity in France,” (with Justin Vaïsse) Consulat Général de France à New York, January 27, 2010. See photos here.

Transatlantic Dialogue on Terrorism at Brookings, December 2009

Jonathan moderated a public panel on “Coordinated Counter-Terrorism Policy” at the Brookings Institution on Tuesday, December 15 (audio available here; transcript is here), and co-organized an experts workshop later that day. Click here to see details. The workshop agenda can be viewed here.

The Swiss Minaret Referendum, December 2009

Jonathan was interviewed for an article about the anti-Minaret referendum in Switzerland in The Economist:

[...] But the right-wing Swiss People’s Party struck a chord by telling voters that there was still a binary choice: either they would be subjected to misogynism and cruel punishments in the name of Islam, or else their existing culture, based on liberal Christianity, would prevail. Minarets were shown as a menacing force: on posters, dark shapes (resembling both minarets and missiles) rose from a Swiss flag.

The resonance of such tactics may embarrass French and German politicians, both on the centre-left and the centre-right, who have predicted that Muslims will soon be integrated as their fellow citizens get used to them, and as their ties with homelands like Turkey and Morocco weaken. In the view of Jonathan Laurence, a professor at Boston College, the vote may be seen as a setback for strategies based on bringing Islam into the European mainstream by encouraging Muslims to “emerge from the basement” and build more visible places of worship. [...]

CLICK HERE to read the full article.

Tariq Ramadan in Canada, November 2009

Jonathan was quoted in an article about Tariq Ramadan in Maclean’s Magazine (Canada). Click here to read the piece.

Un’Italia più forte nel mondo

Laurence spoke on a public panel in Rome on September 29 with the Italian opposition leader Pier Luigi Bersani. A video of the event can be viewed on-line here (debate begins around minute 16:00). The title of the session was “A Stronger Italy in the World: Responding to the Global Crisis.” Click for poster here .

On October 8-9, Laurence participated in the workshop organized by the Fondazione Magna Carta on “The New Transatlantic Relations,” held at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He was interviewed about President Obama and transatlantic relations in the studio of RAI News 24 on the “Dentro la notizia” program on September 29 and October 12, and by Red TV (Italy) on October 10, as well as by L’occidentale (read interview here) on October 12.

Danish Cartoon Controversy, August 2009

Jonathan discussed Yale Press’s decision to omit illustrations from Jytte Klausen’s book on the Danish Cartoon controversy with the London Times.

Pres. Obama and Health Care Reform, July 2009

Jonathan was interviewed for an article about President Obama’s popularity and the likelihood of health care reform in the French newspaper Ouest France.

PM Berlusconi’s Visit to US, June 2009

Jonathan was interviewed in La Repubblica about Prime Minister Berlusconi’s visit to Washington in June. Click here to read the interview.

Pres. Obama’s Cairo Speech, June 2009

Jonathan was interviewed about President Obama’s Cairo speech on Radio France in June. Click here to listen to excerpts from the interview.

New Review of Integrating Islam, April 2009

Book review of Integrating Islam: political and cultural challenges in contemporary France (Brookings Press 2006):

“The successes and failures of cultural integration [are] given an authoritative and optimistic reading by Jonathan Laurence and Justin Vaisse in Integrating Islam … Laurence and Vaisse give us a carefully conducted study of the integration of Muslims into French society, solidly based on statistics and poll results. They see integration wisely as a double process, bringing change to the French population as well as to immigrants… The authors are particularly interesting on French efforts to promote a Western Islam limited to the private sphere.”

- Robert O. Paxton, New York Review of Books, April 9, 2009

Click here to read the review

Inauguration, January 2009

Jonathan was interviewed on France 3′s evening news after the Inaugural speech; earlier in January he spoke on French RTL radio about Obama’s cabinet selection.

Sec. Clinton’s Appointment, December 2008

Jonathan commented on the implications of the Clinton Global Initiative donor list for Senator Clinton’s appointment as Secretary of State in Libération:

«L’accord avec l’équipe de transition était au départ très clair»,affirme Jonathan Laurence, professeur de sciences politiques à l’université de Boston College. Selon lui, «ce sont les activités futures de la fondation Clinton qui importent, pour éviter toute possibilité de conflits d’intérêts». Il estime, par ailleurs, que la plupart des anciens contributeurs étaient déjà connus et que cela n’avait pas empêché Obama de désigner son ancienne rivale à l’investiture démocrate. D’autant que Bill Clinton n’a pas rechigné à jouer le jeu, en promettant de se plier aux règles drastiques fixées par l’équipe de transition.

Click here to read the article.

Italian Political Leadership, December 2008

Jonathan’s study on new foreign policy leaders in Italy was featured by the Il Velino news agency.

“…Possono andare a Bruxelles o a Strasburgo, oppure bussare ad altre istituzioni internazionali, ma se sono ‘animali politici’ – nota Laurence – con ogni probabilità vorranno fare carriera in Italia. E la lista d’attesa è lunga! …”

Click here to read the article.

Local Islam in Europe, December 2008

Jonathan discussed the advantages of local versus national state-Islam consultations with The Economist:

“… This bears out an argument made by Jonathan Laurence, a professor at Boston College. As he puts it, local pragmatism often works better than high-stakes posturing between governments and “national” Muslim bodies. In the latter case, expectations are too high: governments want to resolve all their worries about security and political stability, while on the Muslim side, there is rivalry between ethnic groups and a compulsion to flex muscles. But Mr Laurence adds that for local deals to work, there has to be some national consensus about the limits of cultural freedom….”

Click here to read article.

Atlantic Community interview, November 2008

Jonathan was interviewed for a profile on in November 2008.

“…It doesn’t make sense to have a Leitkultur-slugfest every time a Muslim community wants to build a mosque. So many European countries have proud traditions of religious diversity (or the post-war rehabilitation thereof), which are demeaned by local politicians who seek votes by playing “six degrees of separation to Yusuf al-Qaradawi” with any Muslim leader bearing a mosque blueprint…”

Click here to read the article

Challenges of Multiculturalism, December 2008

“The Challenges of Multiculturalism in Advanced Democracies”

by Robert Rohrschneider, Will Kymlicka and Jonathan Laurence

Perspectives on Politics , Volume 6, Issue 04, December 2008, pp 801-810

Click Here to read the article

Obama’s Ideas, November 2008

Jonathan contributed a few lines on “Obama 2008: 26 idées à importer” (26 ideas worth borrowing) to the Nonfiction’s Nov. 26 issue.

“…Obama a pu assumer ses racines africaines tout en s’affirmant patriote. Il a su s’afficher sous des drapeaux américains pour désarmer ses adversaires, souligner le rôle qu’ont joué le racisme et la discrimination aux États-Unis, sans pathos…”

Click here to read the article.

US Election Commentary, November 2008

On Election Day, Jonathan was interviewed on Radio Suisse Romande. On Wednesday, November 5, he appeared as a guest on the television programs C dans l’air (France 5) and on RTBF/TV-5 Monde.

US Presidential Debates, October 2008

Jonathan was asked to comment on the third presidential debate for Radio France Info. Click here to listen.


Political and Religious Challenges in Contemporary France

Click here to purchase book: Integrating Islam: Political And Religious Challenges in Contemporary France

2007 “Outstanding Academic Title”Choice Magazine

Robert O. Paxton, New York Review of Books, April 2009: “The successes and failures of cultural integration [are] given an authoritative and optimistic reading by Jonathan Laurence and Justin Vaisse in Integrating Islam … Laurence and Vaisse give us a carefully conducted study of the integration of Muslims into French society, solidly based on statistics and poll results. They see integration wisely as a double process, bringing change to the French population as well as to immigrants… The authors are particularly interesting on French efforts to promote a Western Islam limited to the private sphere.

Jytte Klausen, The Journal of Religion, April 2009: “Laurence and Vaisse give an encyclopedic assessment of French policies toward the country’s Muslim minority and the social, economic, and political facts of integration…. One imagines the book lying on the desks of graduate students and journalists who need a primer on the recent history and the facts. If so, we should all be happy.”

Alec Hargreaves, French Politics, Culture and Society, Winter 2008: “This is by far the most comprehensive and best documented book available in English on the Muslim population in France. It works systematically through the now sizeable body of research and other evidence available on Muslims in France and finds that they are working with the grain of French society far more than is often thought. In chapter after chapter, we see that, contrary to widespread myths about the alleged incompatibility of Islam and French republican values, the vast majority of Islamic organizations and individual Muslims in France seek equality within the Republic on the basis of its constitutional principles, including that of laïcité, rather than through shariah-based separatism.

Matthew Kaminski, Wall Street Journal, September 2006: “These statistics [from the Pew Center] came to light after ‘Integrating Islam’ went to print, but they confirm the book’s cautious optimism. Messrs. Laurence and Vaisse argue that French Muslims are a diverse and fast-changing group, in many respects moderate. France, for example, saw virtually no public protests against the Muhammad cartoons, in contrast with other European countries.” (reprinted in Corriere della Sera, October 2006)

John Thornhill, Financial Times, September 2006: “The great virtue of Integrating Islam is that it demonstrates how distorted and offensive many of these views are. After examining the everyday reality of the Muslim population in France, the two authors, an American political scientist and a French historian, reach a more complex and optimistic conclusion challenging the “gloomy and alarmist view of France’s (and Europe’s) inevitable ‘Islamisation’.”

Mark Leon Goldberg, The American Prospect, September 2006: “Buy this book [...] I couldn’t recommend it more highly for those wishing to understand the dynamics of Islam and migrant integration in Europe today.”

Farhad Khosrokhavar, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris (From the book jacket): This book is a must for many reasons. The authors illustrate how Muslims are being integrated into French society and how exclusion and marginality are pushing a few of them into radicalism and terrorism. In a single work it condenses the many sides of the ‘Muslim question’ within France and, in some ways, Europe overall.

Olivier Roy, CNRS, June 2006 (From the foreword): “This noteworthy book by Laurence and Vaisse leaves behind a theoretical sociology of immigration and refuses to engage in the often fruitless debate on Islam as an abstract concept. The authors rely on solid documentation to study actual Muslims who live in France. Their prudently optimistic conclusions do not fall into the trap of cliché, excessive sympathy or political correctness. By emphasizing the complex phenomena of integration and discrimination, they shed light on the mix of identities and the subtle evolution of identity among French Muslims. In so doing, they also point out the difficulties that many in France have in fully understanding the environment in which they find themselves and the changes taking place around them. Laurence and Vaisse make considerable progress in advancing the debate in France and elsewhere, an accomplishment that deserves acknowledgment.”

Timothy Garton Ash, New York Review of Books, October 2006: “As the authors of an excellent new study of Islam in France point out, most French Muslims are relatively well integrated into French society.”

Stanley Hoffmann, Foreign Affairs, November 2006: “Laurence, a young American political scientist, and Vaísse, a young French historian, have written a well-documented, nuanced, and ultimately optimistic study of French Muslims — a convincing refutation of American clichés about the rise of Islamism in France, the effects of Muslims on French foreign policy, European anti-Semitism, and the incompatibility of Islam and the traditional French model of integration.”

Elizabeth Grimm, Democracy & Society, Fall 2006: “Their work is an important read for anyone trying to understand the complexities of Islamic integration into the European mainstream and an extremely valuable contribution to the field of migration studies.”

Roger Hardy, The New Statesman, January 2007: This is one of the few books in English that set out, clearly, dispassionately and in detail, what the headscarf affair was all about, what the main French Muslim organisations are (and their affiliations with the wider Muslim world), what the role of influential but controversial figures such as Tariq Ramadan and Yusuf al-Qaradawi has been, and how successive French governments have sought, with great difficulty, to create a national body to serve as a Muslim interlocutor. There are lessons here for Europe as a whole, and it would be salutary to think that a book with a primarily American purpose might teach Europeans a thing or two as well.”

Stephanie Giry, Prospect Magazine, February 2007: “a probing new book on the integration of Muslims in France [...] Laurence and Vaisse tackle well three issues that often alarm foreign observers: the influence of Muslims on French foreign policy, their suspected responsibility for the rise of antisemitism, and the connection between Islam and Islamist terrorism.”

Fokke Obbema, de Volkskrant, February 2007: “hun boek bevat ruim voldoende argumenten om het overheersende beeld van zwartgalligheid te corrigeren.”

Francis Ghilès, Politica Exterior, March 2007: “Jonathan Laurence y Justin Vaisse desarrollan estos asuntos con cierto detenimiento. Creen que identificar a los musulmanes solo por su creencia religiosa es engañoso, sobre todo cuando muchos de ellos no lo hacen. El complejo tapiz de Europa y el islam refleja la situaciòn en países determinados, y tambièn en todo el continente: existe una enorme diversidad sectaria, étnica e ideològica en países como Francia y Reino Unido…La expresiòn acuñada por Jonathan Laurence y Justin Vaisse resume ingeniosamente el desafío: ‘Altercados urbanos en Francia: es Marx, y no Bin Laden.’”

Pavol Szalai, International Issues and Slovak Foreign Policy, March 2007: “In any case, the book remains a pool of powerful arguments against those who would like to see a class-of-civilizations scenario evolve in France and Europe. Laurence and Vaisse undermine them with a carefully calibrated assessment of the situation backed by serious in-depth research. Everyone interested in immigration, European Islam, terrorism, or French politics should read their book.”

Richard Wolin, The Nation, April 2007: “As Olivier Roy comments in his foreword to Jonathan Laurence and Justin Vaisse’s Integrating Islam: ‘All serious studies of the formation of terrorism in Europe show that the process is more likely to be the result of alienation, isolation and generational crisis.’ This conclusion distinctly belies the claims of scaremongering jeremiads like Bruce Bawer’s While Europe Slept and French author Emmanuel Brenner’s The Lost Territories of the Republic, which misleadingly contend that, à la Bernard Lewis, Europe is undergoing a process of ‘reverse colonization.’”

David Cleeton, Modern & Contemporary France, Spring 2007: “Together [Laurence and Vaisse] have produced a clear and concise investigation of the French social landscape [...] The power of their analysis resides in the facts presented and the documentation they explore to set the record straight concerning the basic underlying structural characteristics of the Muslim population in contemporary France.”

William Safran, Choice, April 2007: “This excellent books deals with the challenges posed in France by the presence of several million Muslims. It covers virtually everything one would want to know about the subject [...] Highly recommended.”

Ishseminal, Daily Kos, June 2007: “Many of these arguments are carefully and convincingly refuted in ‘Integrating Islam‘ by Jonathan Laurence and Justin Vaisse, a painstakingly researched inquiry into the question of Muslim integration in France that was published just last year. Laurence, an American, and Vaisse, a Frenchman, team up to pore through virtually every survey and poll that has been done in recent years concerning views of French Muslims and non-Muslims on various issues related to Muslim life in France: politics, society, education, etc. Laurence and Vaisse provide detailed portraits of major French Muslim leaders and organizations, and track the state’s successes and failures in dealing with the Muslim community.”

Shereen El Fiki, International Affairs, July 2007: “A good first step, however, is understanding the role of Islam in the challenges facing French Muslims. And ‘Integrating Islam’ by political scientist Jonathan Laurence and historian Justin Vaisse is an excellent guide to this complex journey [...] The authors’ exhaustive research, clear analysis and sensible—indeed optimistic— conclusions are just as valuable to readers in Europe and further afield.”

Aslim Taslam, July 2007: “Un ouvrage qui est paru en mars 2007 et qui n’a pas, à mon goût, assez été plébiscité. La référence à des données sociologiques, à des événements politiques majeurs de l’histoire de l’islam de France, à l’aide de grilles statistiques judicieuses, ainsi que des enquêtes de terrain diversifiées, en font « le meilleur livre de synthèse existant » selon Olivier Roy.”

Emmanuel Dupuy, Defense Nationale et Securite Collective, August 2007: “[Un] riche ouvrage qui a l’immense avantage de condenser tous les aspects de la question musulmane en France, remettant ainsi en cause nombre d’ideés reçues quant à la montée de l’islamisme, l’antisémitisme et l’incompatibilité de l’islam avec le modèle républicain français, notamment la laïcité.”

Joan Wallach Scott, Perspectives on Politics, November 2007: “Full of details that enable readers to grasp the import of what is happening. Without sacrificing clarity, they insist on complexity, introducing readers in a measured, dispassionate way to the intricacies of French politics, political theory, and history.”

Ahmet T. Kuru, Contemporary Islam, January 2008: “Integrating Islam is a must read for those who study Muslims in France. It contains very rich and updated data about Muslims’ demography, organizational capacity, and political influence in France.”

Italian Foreign Policy, September 2008

The Italian news agency ANSA featured a summary of Jonathan’s recent article on Italian foreign policy. Click here to read the ANSA article.

The CFCM Debate, June 2008

Jonathan Laurence and Justin Vaisse wrote an op-ed on the future of the Conseil français du culte musulman (CFCM) in Le Monde on June 7, 2008. Click here to read.

French Council for the Muslim Faith, June 2008

Jonathan was interviewed for an article on the crisis of the Conseil français du culte musulman. Click here to read in French. Or click here for English version.

INTEGRATING ISLAM named 2007 “Outstanding Academic Title”

“Choice magazine selected Integrating Islam as an Outstanding Academic Title this year.

About the OAT: Choice’s Outstanding Academic Title list includes 646 books and electronic resources chosen by the Choice editorial staff from among the 7,094 titles reviewed by Choice during the past year. Works are chosen based on their excellence in scholarship and presentation and the significance of their contribution to the field. Comprising just over 9% of the titles reviewed by Choice during the past year, and less than 3% of the more than 25,000 titles submitted to Choice during this same period, Outstanding Academic Titles are truly the best of the best.

About Choice: Published by the American Library Association, Choice is one of the premier sources for reviews of academic books, electronic media, and Internet resources of interest to those in higher education. More than 35,000 librarians, faculty, and key decisionmakers rely on Choice magazine for collection development and scholarly research. Choice reaches almost every undergraduate college and university library in the United States.

The Outstanding Academic Title list appears in the January 2008 issue.”

Radical Islam in Europe, November 2007

Laurence was interviewed for an article on “Radical Islam in Europe” in the November 2007 issue of Congressional Quarterly – Global Researcher.

Terrorism in Germany, September 2007

Jonathan Laurence spoke with Alex Cohen on Day to Day about three men detained in a terrorism investigation in Germany.

Integration and Islam in France, September – October 2007

Laurence and Vaisse’s _Integrating Islam_ was cited in three articles by Simon Kuper about Islam in Europe.Click here for article 1Click here for article 2Click here for article 3

Laurence’s Ph.D. dissertation receives APSA award

“Managing Transnational Religion: Muslims and the State in Western Europe (1974-2004)” [Harvard government department, 2006] was awarded the 2006 Harold D. Lasswell prize for the best dissertation in the field of public policy in 2004 or 2005 by the American Political Science Association.

European Council for Fatwa and Research, May 2007

Integrer l’Islam was cited in an article on the European Council for Fatwa and Research.

Click here to read the article.

The French Presidential Campaign, May 2007

Laurence comments on French presidential elections in The American Prospect.Click here to read the article.

On Eurabia, May 2007

Laurence interviewed about “Eurabia” in Frontpage magazine.
Click here to read the full interview.

Press coverage of Jonathan’s ICG Report, Spring 2007

A number of newspapers and media covered the release of Jonathan’s report for the International Crisis Group. Click below to read coverage in: Frankfurter Rundschau ;Tagesspiegel ; Deutsche Welle ;Islamische Zeitung;Daily Times (Pakistan) ;Migration und Bevölkerung;;Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger; Philadelphia Inquirer .

Islam and Integration in Germany, March 2007

Click here to read Laurence’s interview about Islam in Germany with Deutsche Welle.

Islam, America and Europe, June 2006

Laurence and Vaisse’s Integrating Islam cited in an article on Islam, America and Europe.

Click here to read the article.

Religious Freedom in the US and Europe, May 2006

Laurence was quoted in an article about Ayan Hirsi Ali.

Click here to read the article

PM Prodi’s Election in Italy, April 2006

Jonathan was interviewed for a story about US-Italy relations after the election of Romano Prodi in Spring 2006. Click here to read the article.

State-Islam Relations in Italy, December 2005

Insider News – Italy featured a summary of Jonathan’s article about State-Islam relations in Italy. Click here to read the news article.

US-Italy Relations, April 2005

Associated – Italy featured a summary of Jonathan’s article about US-Italy relations and the Iraq war. Click here to read the article.

Islam und Staatsbürgerschaft in Deutschland | Heinrich Böll Stiftung

Heinrich Böll Stiftung, Summer 2007.

Click here to read the article (in German).

Islam and Citizenship in Germany | CSIS

MUSLIM INTEGRATION: CHALLENGING CONVENTIONAL WISDOM IN EUROPE AND THE UNITED STATES. Steffen Angenendt, Paul M. Barrett, Jonathan Laurence, Ceri Peach, Julianne Smith, and Tim Winter. Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Sept. 2007

An adaptation of the ICG report was published in a report on Muslims’ integration in Europe and the United States by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Fall 2007.

Click here to read the report.

L’integrazione è un problema che va oltre il velo | Formiche

Formiche, Anno 4 - Numero 14 - Marzo/Aprile 2007

“Integration is a problem that goes beyond the veil”

Click here to read the article (in Italian)

Muslim-State Relations in 21st-Century Europe

MPI/Bertelsmann Stiftung Transatlantic Task Force on Immigration and Integration, October 2007

The Migration Policy Institute published a report by Jonathan Laurence in October 2007. The report was written as a discussion paper for the German presidency of the European Union during the previous spring. View the press release here Read the full report here.

Knocking on Europe’s Door: Islam in Italy

February 2006, US-Europe Analysis Brief, The Brookings Institution

Click here to read the article.

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