This year’s prize has been awarded to Rafaela Dancygier (Princeton University) in recognition of her book Dilemmas of Inclusion: Muslims in European Politics, published by Princeton University Press in 2017.
About Rafaela's book
As Europe’s Muslim communities continue to grow, so does their impact on electoral politics and the potential for inclusion dilemmas. In vote-rich enclaves, Muslim views on religion, tradition, and gender roles can deviate sharply from those of the majority electorate, generating severe trade-offs for parties seeking to broaden their coalitions. Dilemmas of Inclusion explains when and why European political parties include Muslim candidates and voters, revealing that the ways in which parties recruit this new electorate can have lasting consequences.
Drawing on original evidence from thousands of electoral contests in Austria, Belgium, Germany, and Great Britain, Rafaela Dancygier sheds new light on when minority recruitment will match up with existing party positions and uphold electoral alignments and when it will undermine party brands and shake up party systems. She demonstrates that when parties are seduced by the quick delivery of ethno-religious bloc votes, they undercut their ideological coherence, fail to establish programmatic linkages with Muslim voters, and miss their opportunity to build cross-ethnic, class-based coalitions. Dancygier highlights how the politics of minority inclusion can become a testing ground for parties, showing just how far their commitments to equality and diversity will take them when push comes to electoral shove.
Providing a unified theoretical framework for understanding the causes and consequences of minority political incorporation, and especially as these pertain to European Muslim populations, Dilemmas of Inclusion advances our knowledge about how ethnic and religious diversity reshapes domestic politics in today’s democracies.
In her own words...
'I am absolutely delighted that my book has been awarded the Stein Rokkan Prize. Stein Rokkan’s foundational work has shaped my own research path in comparative politics, and I am so honored that Dilemmas of Inclusion will be associated with the research tradition he helped pioneer.'
From our prize jury
In its laudation, the jury praised a 'superbly engaging book [which] provides a profoundly illuminating analysis of the causes and consequences of parties’ mobilisation of Muslim groups for contemporary European politics', and a study that 'will make a lasting contribution to the literature.'
The jury members were unanimous in their decision. Read the full laudation.