Jonathan Laurence

Daimler Fellow - Class of Fall 2012

Associate Professor of Political Science, Boston College; Nonresident Senior Fellow, Center on the US and Europe, Brookings Institution

American Academy Project: Turkey and Morocco in Germany: European Muslims or Citizens Abroad?
Current Institution Affiliation: Boston College
Current Location: Massachusetts


Jonathan Laurence is associate professor of Political Science at Boston College with a focus on European politics, transatlantic relations, and Islam in the West. He is also a nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, an affiliate of the Center for European Studies at Harvard, and a regular guest researcher at the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin. His PhD thesis was awarded the 2006 Harold D. Lasswell Prize for the best dissertation on public policy from the American Political Science Association. Laurence is author of Integrating Islam: Political and Religious Challenges in Contemporary France (with Justin Vaisse, Brookings Press, 2006), which received an Outstanding Academic Title Award from the American Library Association. He is also the author of extensive articles in both policy journals and the news media, and of two edited volumes, The New French Council for the Muslim Faith (2005) and Governments and Muslim Communities in the West (with Philippa Strum, 2008). In 2012, Princeton University Press published The Emancipation of Europe’s Muslims: The State’s Role in Minority Integration.

American Academy Project

Turkey and Morocco in Germany: European Muslims or Citizens Abroad?

At the American Academy in Berlin, Laurence will be focusing on a research project entitled "Turkey and Morocco in Germany: European Muslims or Citizens Abroad?" Turkey and Morocco offer important but very different visions of the coexistence of Islam and democracy in the 21st century. The merits and relevance of the Turkish and Moroccan models—one a democratic republic and the other a constitutional democratic monarchy—have been intensively debated (and trumpeted) in North African countries transitioning from the Arab Spring since the winter of 2011. This research project examines the external impact of Turkish and Moroccan projection of soft power across the Mediterranean in another direction: their increasing involvement in the political and religious lives of immigrant diasporas in Western Europe. Morocco and Turkey have pursued new and ambitious diaspora-outreach policies over the past decade, and these policies’ reception in Europe is a useful prism though which to view the evolution of Islam in the West as it relates to political development in the Muslim-majority world. The interaction of Germans’ and other Europeans’ own integration approaches with Turkish and Moroccan policies will have critical implications for the social and political integration of the eight million or so Turkish- and Moroccan-origin residents and citizens who live across Western Europe, who make up roughly half of the continent’s population of Muslim origin. Laurence intends to conduct discussions with experts and officials in Berlin to complete the German piece of his research puzzle.

Lecture Summary

Published in Politics

Integration or Emancipation? European Muslims between Mosque and State

Jonathan Laurence on the tricky but vital balance of state–Muslim relations in Europe

Can state–mosque relations nurture a pragmatic relationship between community organizations and public authorities? What is the role of foreign governments in the building of mosques, training of imams and other requirements of Muslim religious life in Europe? Jonathan Laurence's timely lecture investigates the possibilities and consequences of anchoring Islam in European domestic institutions. »