Between Violent Political Extremism & Disengagement: Young Muslims' Political Participation
SPS Lecture series
In the aftermath of disturbances in 2001 and the 2005 London bombings, crisis narratives on youth political disengagement have increasingly focus on young Muslims, centred on concerns about political disaffection, failed integration, a lack of social capital consonant with democratic participation, or violent political extremism. In this lecture, I argue that the evidence base underpinning perceptions that participation in democratic life among Muslim young people is lower than for other groups of young people is weak. Those studies that do exist do not necessarily sustain such generalised crisis narratives, whilst recent data from the EMBES suggest that young Muslims’ engagement in electoral politics and other forms of participation are not lower than that of young people more generally. Furthermore, public and academic discourses on Muslim young people have paid insufficient attention to the ways in which young Muslims do politically engage. In so doing, I suggest that the study of political engagement among Muslim young people should be situated alongside the growing literatures on changing patterns and norms of political engagement among citizens more broadly, the significance of globalisation and globalised information communication technologies for the modes and scales of political participation, and the political implications of reflexive religious identities. These broader processes have some profound implications for the ways in which Muslim young people politically engage. Consequently, between violent political extremism and disengagement are a range of modes and repertoires of political participation among young Muslims.
Therese O’Toole, is Senior Lecturer in the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies and the Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship at the University of Bristol
There will be an opportunity for questions after the lecture.