The Politics of Muslim Integration in Germany and Great Britain

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, Germany and Great Britain. Investigating formalized consultations with German and British Muslim community representatives and the introduction of new legislation protecting against 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. Lewicki argues that citizenship studies need to move away from defining citizenship as a single, monolithic regime and account for its contested nature that is reproduced through competing discourses that can facilitate or inhibit the reduction of structural inequalities.

Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan (peer reviewed)  |  View publisher’s webpage

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Shortlisted for IMISCOE Maria Ioannis Baganha Dissertation Award



The Times Higher Education:

Social Justice through Citizenship? (…) offers an unprecedented and wide-ranging evaluation of the accommodation of Islam in the UK and Germany, and a reassessment of citizenship on a European scale. Even more importantly, it reaches out to both academics and policymakers, offering a model of how discourses of citizenship can influence the way structural inequalities are managed. There is no doubt that the integration of Muslims in these two countries, as well as further afield, will continue to concern academics, politicians and members of the public for years to come. Lewicki’s recognition of the importance of the historical context, her detailing of recent institutionalised consultations and her informed policy suggestions should secure this book a place at the centre of these deliberations.


Ethnic and Racial Studies:

Aleksandra Lewicki’s Social Justice through Citizenship? is a significant academic contribution related to this topic and will quickly become one of the seminal works regarding academic literature on the accommodation of Islam by host countries.


Judith Squires and Schirin Amir-Moazami in their evaluation of the doctoral thesis on which the book is based:

Lewicki makes a major contribution to both comparative studies on citizenship and the growing body of sociological investigations on Muslims in Europe. In this latter regard, her analysis is particularly helpful because she thoroughly contextualises diverse engagements of Muslims with liberal democratic orders within a broader view on political discursive practices on the accommodation of minorities.


Anonymous Reviewer for Palgrave Macmillan:

This book is nicely linked to a number of key debates in comparative migration studies, by addressing the convergence-non-convergence debate in a novel, more pluralistic way; by focusing on citizenship as a cultural-sociological institution, which is contested and created politically; and by providing a state of the art comparison of Britain and Germany on two key areas of policy, which remain hotly debated in the field. Both national cases are well contextualized and researched by an author who has lived and worked academically in both. (…) Readers working within comparative migration studies focusing on North Western Europe, as well as those interested in the two specific countries and/or the two policy fields will want to check out the book, and the entire book or chapters are likely to be used in MA and PhD-courses (certainly mine!).



Zur Aktualität eines normativen Begriffs

Der Souveränitätsbegriff vereinigt zwei Grundfragen des Politischen: Die nach der ultimativen Autorität und jene nach ihrer Rechtfertigung. Seit seiner Entstehung bot der Terminus politische Lösungen für Autoritätskonflikte und Ausweitung von Partizipation. Diese Fragestellungen werden heute in den internationalen Beziehungen und im politischen System der Europäischen Union neu aufgeworfen. Verliert staatliche Souveränität an Bedeutung? Wie aktuell ist die Idee der Volkssouveränität in transnationalen Demokratieformen? Die Autorin knüpft einen Zusammenhang zwischen dem Wandel des Souveränitätskonzepts und seiner rechtfertigenden Kraft für zeitgenössische Probleme. So lange der Begriff seine Funktion auf kreative Weise erfüllt, ist er nicht obsolet.

LIT Verlag Münster – Hamburg – London | View publisher’s webpage


Received VBKI European Young Researcher Award in European Integration
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Seminal text in constitutional law the University of Braunschweig

Widely cited internationally and framing research conducted at the University of Hamburg


Manuel Fröhlich, Portal für Politikwissenschaft:

Die Autorin geht von der These aus, dass sich „Definitionsbestandteile von Souveränität wandeln […], einem Chamäleon gleich, je nach zeitgenössischem politischem und sozialwissenschaftlichem Problemlösungsbedarf“ (14). Um diese These zu erhärten, zeichnet Lewicki die Entwicklung des Begriffs in politischer Philosophie, Völkerrecht sowie den unterschiedlichen Denkschulen der internationalen Politik und der Europäischen Integration anhand ausgewählter Autoren nach. Dabei operationalisiert sie den Begriff jeweils durch sechs Elemente: Legitimationsquelle, Letztinstanzlichkeit, Ausschließlichkeit sowie Träger, Kompetenzen und Eigenschaften. Diese systematische Erfassung der unterschiedlichen Debatten ermöglicht es ihr, die Akzentuierung und Mischung spezifischer Souveränitätsbedeutungen bis in aktuelle Diskussionen um postnationale Politik nachzuzeichnen.
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