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Terms of Agreement: Challenges of Muslim Inclusion

Research Council of Norway FRIPRO Grant (FRIHUMSAM)
NOK 9 million
March 2019- February 2023
PI: Elisabeth Ivarsflaten, Professor of Political Science, University of Bergen

Based on the previous work of the PI (Elisabeth Ivarsflaten) and her team (Paul M. Sniderman and Stefan Dahlberg), we hypothesize that native citizens in Norway and elsewhere in Western Europe are more open to inclusion, also of Muslim minorities, than has been recognized so far. The project draws on concepts and ideas from normative political theory to identify the most relevant lines of inquiry, but it engages with this theoretical work in an empirical manner asking not what the public ought to accept, but what the public does accept. Two major challenges will be addressed: (1) which terms matter most to the majority public in questions of Muslim minority inclusion and why? (2) how can the findings on acceptable terms of inclusion be squared with evidence of extremism and the demonization of Muslims in Norway and Europe today? The central methodological approaches will be survey experiments and a combination of qualitative and Big Data analysis of online content. The project will contribute new knowledge not only about the nature, extent, and limitations of anti-Muslim mobilization, but also, for the first time, about the nature, extent, and limitations of openness to the inclusion of Muslim minorities in contemporary society.