Johanna Loock

Johanna Loock


Having studied at different universities and departments allowed me to expand my horizon and perspectives beyond disciplinary boundaries.

I received my BA in Islamic Studies and Geography from the Universität Bern. Surprisingly, it was in a course of political geography (Université de Fribourg) that I first read Michel Foucault, Hannah Arendt, and Michael Mann who continue to be important for my work. In Islamic Studies, I focused on the issue of Muslims in Europe, colonialism, and Orientalism, which led me to recognise Europe and its history, concepts, and political strategies as subjects of Islamic Studies.

In order to expand this interest, I pursued my MA in Islamic Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin, where Prof. Schirin Amir-Moazami established the course specialisation of “Islam in Europe”. This allowed me to concentrate on questions around Islamic movements in Europe and primarily on issues of how states construct, shape, and mark minorities. Through a scholarship from Freie Universität Berlin, I had the chance to study at New York University and Columbia University during my MA. The studies in Berlin and New York were not only influential for the development of my MA-thesis on German integration politics, but also for my PhD project on Paradoxes of Citizenship.

For the PhD, it was my wish to work with Prof. S. Sayyid and Dr Ipek Demir, which led me to pursue a PhD in Sociology at the University of Leeds

Research interests

In my PhD thesis, I am concerned with paradoxes of citizenship emerging in contemporary Germany. I investigate the problem of who can or cannot and under which conditions become part of the German nation and what this implies for those involved as well as for the definition of the national identity. I approach this complex through an analysis of official integration politics – promoted as a means to facilitate the participation of migrants in society – and its entanglement with Islam politics. Consequently, the exploration of integration politics serves as a tool to critically investigate issues of national identity, citizenship, and the nation-state.

Further research interests

  • Processes of racialisation
  • Islamophobia
  • Secularism
  • Decoloniality
  • (Re)construction of national identity
  • Subtle forms of nationalism


  • I have taught in the/TA on Level 1 module “Sociology of Modern Societies” (2020)

Research Groups and institutes


  • MA Islamic Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, New York University, Columbia University
  • BA Islamic Studies and Geography, Universität Bern, Université de Fribourg