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Jonathan Laurence

The Elusive Toleration of Islam in Europe

Panel: Minorities, Pluralism, Law – Wednesday, January 20 (11am – 1pm PST // 2pm – 4pm EST)
Commenter – Panel: Thinking Toleration – Tuesday, January 19 (11am -1 pm PST // 2pm – 4pm EST)
Jonathan Laurence photo

Jonathan Laurence is Professor of Political Science at Boston College and an affiliate of the Center for European Studies at Harvard University, where he received his Ph.D. in 2006. Laurence is author of Coping with Defeat: Sunni Islam, Roman Catholicism and the Modern State (Princeton, 2020), The Emancipation of Europe’s Muslims (Princeton, 2012) and Integrating Islam (with Justin Vaïsse, Brookings, 2006). He has explored the relationship between European social democratic parties and and Muslim immigrants and communities in their coalitions. In “‘Islam and Social Democrats: Integrating Europe’s Muslim Minorities” (Dissent, 2013), Laurence traces the history of left parties’ strategies for appealing to and retaining Muslim voters. He analyzes how left parties that have historically been associated with anticlericalism have been largely unwilling to recognize and incorporate Muslim and minority religion identities and organizations, even as they court their votes. This, he argues, explains some of the tensions that these parties encounter. Since 2018, he has served as director of an NGO, Reset Dialogues US.  

Example of published work:

Jonathan Laurence, “Islam and Social Democrats: Integrating Europe’s Muslim Minorities,” Dissent Magazine, Fall 2013,