The research: Forces that Bind and/or Divide

Tensions about the public presence and the representation of Islam are central to debates about national identity, and the future of democratic participation in Northern European multicultural societies. Following the pillarization and later privatization of religion in Dutch society, we now witness religious groups actively engaging in culture and politics, showing a new assertive expressivity. The conflicts about the representation of religion and about religious activism reveal important developments in Dutch society, with regard to issues that are considered to be of fundamental value to the fabric of society such as citizenship, liberal freedoms, (the limits of) public debate and the position of religion. As religion has become a topical, yet still little understood issue in social conflict, policy makers are in need of more profound and differentiated analyses of the binding and dividing forces of religion, in particular with reference to the internal and transnational dynamics of networks of Muslim activists. This research does not only analyse the public presence of Muslim activists but also focuses on their internal differentiations and contestations. This will engender a better understanding of the binding and dividing forces of religious activism, and the transformations that have taken place in the course of the last two decades.

In order to enhance the public relevance of the project and its research results we work closely together with Imagine IC; pioneering the heritage of our present lives together.

Research Team

Prof.dr. Annelies Moors, University of Amsterdam, AISSR

Dr. Sarah Bracke, Harvard University

Dr. Martijn de Koning, University of Amsterdam, AISSR

PhD student: Fouzia Outmany, University of Amsterdam, AISSR.

The project is funded by NWO.

One thought on “The research: Forces that Bind and/or Divide”

  1. I find the topic very intriguing. This is exactly the kind of empirical research that is so necessary to escape from the tyranny of conventional wisdom. Please inform me of results.

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