David Laitin: Incomplete Assimilation among Muslims in France

Posted on December 7th, 2011 in Events

March 1, 12:15 PM, Encina Hall Central – CISAC Conference Room

Workshop Series: Islam & Contemporary Europe

David Laitin (Department of Political Science, Stanford University), “Incomplete Assimilation among Muslims in France” *

Recognizing the political consequences for Europe of Muslim immigration, and relying on a novel identification strategy, this paper investigates why Muslim assimilation into French cultural norms is incomplete, and provides experimental and survey evidence that reveals the low expected payoffs that Muslim immigrants in France receive for full assimilation. While the data show that rooted French people initially distrust Muslims (compared to a matched set of Christians)  in part due to their unwillingness to fully assimilate, the real source of Muslim reluctance to fully assimilate is their perception that in anonymous transactions (i.e., through French institutions) they will always be perceived as foreign and face discrimination.                           

David Laitin is the James T. Watkins IV and Elise V. Watkins Professor of Political Science at Stanford University. He received his B.A. in Political Science from Swarthmore College and his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley. His research interests include comparative politics, nation-state formation, ethnic conflict, and religion. Among his publications are Politics, Language and Thought: The Somali Experience (1977), Hegemony and Culture: Politics and Religious Change among the Yoruba (1986), Language Repertoires and State Construction in Africa (1992), Identity in Formation: The Russian-Speaking Populations in the Near Abroad (1998), and Nations, States and Violence (2007). Prof. Laitin has been a recipient of fellowships from the Howard Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Russell Sage Foundation. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.

*Workshop paper is available to Stanford affiliates upon request by email to abbasiprogram@stanford.edu.

The event is co-sponsored by the Europe Center.

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