Macquarie University
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The perception of Islam by political parties: a comparative analysis of the rhetorical and perceptive schemes used in Australia and France

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posted on 2022-03-28, 17:58 authored by Marc-Olivier Del Grosso
The perception of Islam in France and Australia revolves around two very different socio-historical contexts, which produced differentiated systems of constraints and resources for political parties. The structuring dynamics of these contexts are both endogenous and exogenous. The endogenous ones include the migratory history and the specific conditions of settlement of Muslim populations in both countries. The exogenous dynamics ensue from the public authorities' management and, more generally, from an idiosyncratic and historically constructed relationship between the state and religions, citizenship and the integration of minorities. The combining of these processes has fostered the emergence of two modalities of visibility of Islam at the turn of the 1980s and 1990s, with a strong religious component in France and a noteworthy ethnic component in Australia. Their expression may be found in the respective debates on laïcité and multiculturalism. The placing on the agenda of the "questionof Islam" and the issue ownership competitions by political parties are inseparable from these systems of constraints which mark out the boundaries of the thinkable and the possible of discourses as well as logics of action. In analysing Islam under this multidimensional prism, this thesis serves three purposes: an epistemological one, a methodological one and a heuristic one. From a theoretical point ofview, it shows that the perception of Islam by political parties epitomises the necessity of articulating structural overdetermination processes and modalities of objectivation in the sociological approach. In practical terms, this involves exploring new ways to triangulate qualitative and quantitative tools for combining microsociological, mesosociological and macrosociological dimensions, as well as the diachronicity and synchronicity of empirical observations. In doing so, the comparison examines how two "types" of legal-political traditions have shaped different answers to the same question of integrating Muslims within the axiological and cognitive frameworks of the country, and further enables putting into perspective party discourses and representations on the period 2001-2015. It shows the limited relevance of traditional dualisms like the Left/Right opposition on this issue and suggests alternative analytical stances to overcome their biases.


Table of Contents

Introduction -- Part I. Theoretical and methodological groundings. Chapter 1. Theoretical groundings Chapter 2. Methodological groundings -- Part II. The "question of Islam" in Australia and France. Chapter 3. Islam and the governance of religions Chapter 4. Islam and the governance of minorities Chapter 5. The emergence of the "question of Islam" in Australia and France -- Part III. Assessing interparty and intraparty dynamics. Chapter 6. Religion and conflicts of values for political parties Chapter &. An attempt at mapping quantitatively intraparty and interparty dynamics -- General conclusion -- Appendices -- References.


Bibliography: pages 337-375 Theoretical thesis. "Macquarie University, Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations, Faculty of Arts: PhD in Modern History, Politics and International Relations Sciences Po Aix, ED 355- Espaces, Cultures, Sociétés: CHERPA (Croyance, Histoire, Espace, Régulation Politique et Administrative), Doctorat de Sociologie" -- title page.

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations

Department, Centre or School

Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Marion Maddox

Additional Supervisor 1

Raphaël Liogier

Additional Supervisor 2

Stephen Wood


Copyright Marc-Olivier Del Grosso 2017. Copyright disclaimer:




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