School Research Seminar - Discourses of Citizenship: Islamophobia, Integration, and Belonging

We are delighted to welcome Johanna Loock and Claudia Radiven, University of Leeds, to deliver the School Research Seminar.

This seminar includes two papers which speak to the theme ‘Discourses of Citizenship: Islamophobia, Integration, and Belonging’.

Paper 1: Reconstructing German Citizenship (Johanna Loock, University of Leeds)

Abstract: In this presentation, I am concerned with the discourse of German integration politics as reconstructing a national identity and thereby indicating the dominant conception of German citizenship. The identity of a nation-state is commonly constructed on the basis of shared features of its population. Since identity can only be constructed through a relation of difference, a nation-state has to be distinct from other nation-states to legitimise its demarcation. Migration and new demographic constellations, on the other hand, challenge established terms of national identity as different nations claim the same national territory. This situation might call for a redefinition of national identity. In Germany, however, any challenge to the established national identity has long been averted by practising a policy of ignorance towards so-called guest workers and restrictive residence policies. More recently, politics of exclusion have been replaced by integration politics which put in prospect to non-German migrants the possibility of becoming part of the nation. However, Orientalist, Islamophobic, and racializing tropes informing the very politics of integration indicate that integration politics construct and mark minorities. In turn, these politics also function to reconstruct a national majority. Consequently, I map out integration as part of discourses defining the meaning of citizenship.

Speaker biography: Johanna Loock is a PhD student at the School of Sociology and Social Policy. She has an academic background in Islamic Studies, Geography, and Religious Studies. Her PhD project is concerned with paradoxes of German citizenship and focuses on the reconstruction of a national identity in distinction from minorities through state integration politics. Further research interests include Islamophobia, subtle forms of nationalism, processes of racialisation, and decoloniality.

Paper 2: Preventing Citizenship: Islamophobia, Countering Violent Extremism and the case of the Prevent Policy in the UK (Claudia Radiven, University of Leeds).

Abstract: Researchers in fields as wide ranging as Terrorism Studies, Defence and Security Studies, Sociology of ethnicities, Anthropology, Legal studies, and International Relations have helped to build up an extensive literature on contemporary radicalization of Muslims and the policies needed to counter this. These studies have been informed by a variety of epistemologies and deployed a range of methods to investigate and improve Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) policies and their impact on Muslim communities. Many of these studies have demonstrated excellent scholarship, however, a problem arises within the conception of CVE itself. This research presents an analysis of the Prevent policy, the training to carry out the now incumbent duty, and the impact of its implementation on the Muslim community. Through decolonial discourse theory and the lens of Critical Muslim Studies, Prevent can be understood as a discourse rooted in racialized notions of British Values. The problems with Prevent are not methodological failures but rather epistemological, as Prevent relies upon Orientalist and Islamophobic principles taken from colonial forms of governance. This presentation will reflect on how Prevent and its expansion has led to enacting two-tiered citizenship that rests on a racialization of citizens and prejudices the Muslim community. 

Speaker biography: Claudia Radiven is a lecturer and PhD student within the School of Sociology and Social Policy. Her areas of expertise include Critical Muslim Studies, Islamophobia, Critical Race Theory, State Crime and Race and Social Justice. Her PhD thesis focuses on the Prevent policy, colonial racial governance and Islamophobia. Claudia has also co-edited and co-written Crimes of States & Powerful Elites: A Collection of Case Studies.

Event practicalities and joining details

The event will be held on Zoom, access the meeting via the link and joining details below:

Meeting ID: 889 9205 0157
Passcode: z7^hNV

No booking required.


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