Chapter

Reducing disparities and polarizations in Europe

Pamela Irving Jackson and Peter Doerschler

in Benchmarking Muslim well-being in Europe

Published by Policy Press

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9781847428875
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9781447307716 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847428875.003.0007
Reducing disparities and polarizations in Europe

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Whether or not a Europe-wide benchmarking system is actually put into place, states and European agencies are moving in this direction as they develop complex sets of indicators alternative to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The goals and strategies of the benchmarking concept are applied to the task of examining the well-being of Muslims in four European states, focusing on the eight key areas of life specified by the Council of Europe (2003). In these states, as in Europe as a whole, Muslims represent a significant and salient dimension of the population politically, socially, economically, culturally and demographically. Without a reconsideration of official data gathering strategies, steps toward benchmarking minority integration in Europe will founder. Efforts to improve the well-being of minorities will ignore the special problems of Muslims in many European states for lack of conceptualization of the religious group as a minority in need of protection, and the resulting absence of accurate information about them. These data are necessary to convince electorates to move in the direction of greater inclusion of the needs of European Muslims in the bureaucratic regulations and institutional processes of the state and its agencies. The talents and abilities of European Muslims, like those of other newcomers, will then accrue to the benefit of Europe and its member states.

Keywords: Civic integration contracts; Benchmarking; Well-Being; Religiosity; Politics of statistics; Church tax; Headscarves; Laicite

Chapter.  10276 words. 

Subjects: Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility

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