Inclusion of Muslim Minorities Discussed on the Democracy Paradox Podcast

Elisabeth Ivarsflaten and Paul Sniderman were guests in an episode of the Democracy Paradox Podcast in February. In this episode they talked about their research on the inclusion of Muslim minorities, which is largely based on data from the Norwegian Citizen Panel.

The book "The Struggle of Inclusion: Muslim Minorities and the Democratic Ethos"
Ingrid Kvåle Faleide

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In the end of February, Elisabeth Ivarsflaten, professor of political science and the scientific director of DIGSSCORE, and Paul Sniderman, professor of public policy at Standford University, guested the Democracy Paradox Podcast. The host of this podcast, Justin Kempf, invites scholars to discuss social and political ideas. In the current episode, the topic of the conversation concerned Ivarsflaten and Sniderman's recently published book "The Struggle for Inclusion: Muslim Minorities and the Democratic Ethos". This book presents the two authors' research conducted on politics of inclusion, the inclusion of Muslims in Western Societies in particular.

The conversation enters topics such as the understanding of inclusion in a liberal democracy, the concept of a diverse national identity, the role of respect in a liberal democracy, and exploring what inclusion means to tolerant people and how far they are willing to go to be inclusive. The methodological approaches used in the research and discussions of interesting findings are included as well.

You can listen to the episode down below or where you usually listen to podcasts. 

You can get access to a transcript of the podcast episode at the Democracy Paradox Podcast's home page.

What's especially remarkable with this research is the way Ivarsflaten and Sniderman have approached the inclusion research field from a unconventional perspective. Instead of focusing on the intolerant members of the population, who are in favor of exclusion, they have rather decided to explore the public opinion of those who hold liberal democratic values. Furthermore, they share their findings which show that Western societies have a greater openness to inclusion of muslims than what is previously recognized.

The really big contribution that, if we were to name one contribution that this book makes, it's to take those citizens who believe in what we call inclusive tolerance, those who favor inclusion broadly speaking, to take them seriously and to say "Okay, you say that that's a value of yours. What does that mean to you? How far are you willing to go?"

Elisabeth Ivarsflaten

Another topic that was brought up in the conversation was the role of the Norwegian Citizen Panel. It was emphasized how valuable the panel has been for the collection of data and the possibilities it has given regarding survey research. The evidence in the book is, among other sources, based on data from 12 waves of the Norwegian Citizen Panel collected between 2013-2020. In addition, Ivarsflaten and Sniderman introduce a new method to study the public opinion, which is presented in their book.

But if the book were to be able to have success that I would hope for it, it would be to show others that this is the kind of research infrastructure that you need and it would transform the world of research opportunities for all kinds of folks out there

Paul Sniderman


Make sure to check out the podcast episode!

If you want an even deeper insight into this research I would recommend reading "The Struggle for Inclusion: Muslim minorities and the Democratic Ethos" by Ivarsflaten and Sniderman.