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Governing Islam in French cities: defining ‘acceptable’ public religiosity through municipal consultative bodies

Martínez-ariño, J., 2019, In : Religion, State and Society. 47, 4-5, p. 423-439 16 p.

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In recent years, European states have institutionalised relations with Islamic groups in the form of national Islam councils. Similarly, municipalities have set up more or less comparable bodies to address issues related to urban religious diversity. However, rather than being restricted to Muslim representatives, municipal consultative bodies usually incorporate a variety of religious actors. This contribution analyses three such bodies in the French cities of Rennes, Bordeaux, and Toulouse. Adopting a governance perspective and drawing on qualitative fieldwork, I argue that by providing concrete advice on how to address religious issues, these bodies define what are considered ‘acceptable’ and ‘unacceptable’ public religious expressions, ultimately influencing normative ideas about laïcité. Moreover, I argue that the history of relationships between religious and municipal authorities and the political culture of the cities, among other factors, shape these local processes, thereby emphasising the distinct role of cities and urban actors in governing religion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-439
Number of pages16
JournalReligion, State and Society
Volume47
Issue number4-5
Early online date30-Aug-2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Keywords

  • GOVERNANCE NETWORKS, SOUTHERN EUROPE, POLITICS, DIVERSITY, FRANCE, POLICY

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