Comparative European Politics

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 330–349 | Cite as

Varieties of Muslim Councils in Europe

  • Alice Ciciora
Original Article


This article presents a typology of Muslim councils. The typology identifies two central ways in which these bodies vary: how they are formed (by the government or by the Muslim community) and who can be a member (universal or restricted by sect, ethnicity or national origin). The central claim in this article is that the nature of Muslim council present in a country is indicative of the extent to which Muslims will be incorporated into the policy-making process. Councils that condition representation on membership in a given sect or ethnic heritage are overall less likely to be incorporated in the policy-making process. Compared with those councils created by the Muslim community and elevated to official status, councils created by the state are also less likely to be a part of the policy-making process. In addition, when state-created councils are consulted, it is likely to be perfunctory rather than a meaningful discussion. In order to provide an empirical test to see what relationship, if any, exists between policy outcomes and the type of council in a given country, I look at the process of creating Muslim dress policy in Austria, France and the Netherlands.


Islam Muslim Europe headscarf hijab corporatism 



The author would like to thank Ron Hassner, Jonah Levy, Steve Vogel, Nick Ziegler, and three anonymous reviewers for their feedback, comments and advice.


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alice Ciciora
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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