Political opportunities, citizenship models and political claim-making over Islam
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AbstractThis article engages with the systematic analysis of two main dimensions of political opportunities—namely institutional opportunities and discursive opportunities—so as to appraise their impact upon claim-making in the field of Islam. We account for cross- national variations of claim-making in terms of (1) visibility of Muslims, (2) use of collective action, and (3) salience of cultural issues in five main European countries of Muslim settlement, that is Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. In addition, we propose a conceptual framework that tackles a crucial conundrum that one finds in the scholarly literature, namely the variable (dis)alignment that may exist between the restrictive/expansionist stance of institutions and policy actors on the one hand and the restrictive/expansionist discursive position that prevails in the public domain on the other hand. Emphasis is also placed on a number of unexpected findings, such as the divergence between Britain and the Netherlands, the not so universalistic approach of French republicanism, and the small steps that Germany has walked towards multiculturalism.