Muslim Participation in Contemporary Governance

Update: August 2013

The project Muslim Participation in Contemporary Governance ran from June 2010 to January 2013 and was funded within the AHRC/ESRC’s Religion and Society programme. The research team comprised: Therese O’Toole (PI), Tariq Modood (CI), Daniel Nilsson DeHanas (RA), Stephen Jones (RA) and Nasar Meer (Research Consultant: Northumbria University). The team worked with an External Advisory Group that included: Yahya Birt (Kube Publishing); Inayat Bunglawala (Engage); Sadek Hamid (Liverpool Hope University); Dilwar Hussain (New Horizons in British Islam); Atif Imtiaz (Cambridge Muslim College); and Maleiha Malik (Kings College London);

This large-scale qualitative project explored modes and practices of state-Muslim engagement from 1997 onwards, particularly in the fields of equalities, faith-sector governance and counter-terrorism, at national level and in three local areas: Birmingham, Leicester and Tower Hamlets. This is the most comprehensive study of state-Muslim relations in the UK to date. In January 2013, the project’s funding period came to a close with the launch of an end-of-research report to an audience of our research participants, policy-makers, practitioners and political and civil society actors at a public event in London, in which leading Muslim policy and civil society actors responded to our findings, building on similar public events previously held at Toynbee Hall in London in September 2012 and the Brick Lane Mosque in November 2012. The research has been reported by several think-tanks and in an article in the Sunday Telegraph in 2012 (‘Fighting for the Right to Pray’, 12th February 2012).

Over the coming year, the research team will continue work on analysing the data generated by this research and publishing its findings (with plans for a book, academic articles and several contributions to Public Spirit). In September 2013, Therese O’Toole will present the research findings to the Flemish Parliament in Brussels at a conference organised by the Flemish Peace Institute. Therese also discussed this research as a panellist in the first of the Westminster Faith Debates in February 2012, appearing alongside Dominic Grieves MP (Attorney General), Trevor Phillips (then Chair of the EHRC), Professor Kim Knott, Professor Linda Woodhead and Charles Clarke. Further details about the project’s work, updates and outputs are available below.

Muslim Participation in Contemporary Governance is a research project that was funded by the AHRC/ESRC joint research programme on Religion & Society from July 2010 to December 2012. The project investigates how UK governance includes British Muslims and how Muslims themselves become involved in consultations, partnerships, and governance networks. Academic researchers have built a growing understanding of British Muslim protest and activism from the Salman Rushdie Affair until today. Yet the participation of British Muslims in policymaking and implementation, and in local and national processes of governing remains largely an untold story.

The project was led by Dr Therese O’Toole (PI), Professor Tariq Modood (CI), Dr Daniel Nilsson DeHanas and Dr Stephen Jones at Bristol University and Dr Nasar Meer of Northumbria University. 

Our Final Report "Taking Part" was launched on 31 January 2013 at the Bishopsgate Institute in London. The Report has now been released online (PDF, 3,139kB) (pdf. 5.5mb)

For a general introduction to the project you might like to read our First Working Paper.

Image included courtesy of Forward Thinking.

First working paper

For a general introduction to the project you might like to read our First Working Paper.

Final report

Download our final report, "Taking Part"

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