28 May 2024, 13:30 - 14:30
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Ethnicity is perhaps as important to understanding the current tensions around minorities in Europe as religion and race are. 

In this launch event for the special issue What’s ethnicity got to do with it?, the Landecker Programme invites reflection on the increasing political anxiety around Muslim and Jewish identities in Europe, and the exploitation of ethnic differences for political and electoral purposes.

The discussion looks at the interconnection of ethnicity, religion, and race, as a means of self-identification and the assertion of differences between as well as within ethnic groups. Moreover, as specific minorities might from time to time fall through the cracks of legal protection – Jews, Muslims, and Roma/Traveller communities – it considers several strategies for alleviating the pressure on ethnic minorities, for example through the use of private sector duties as well as potential innovations of anti-discrimination infrastructure.

To discuss the links of ethnicity, religion and race, moderators Professor Jonathan Wolff and Dr Lior Erez from the Alfred Landecker Programme at the Blavatnik School of Government are joined by authors Dr Gülay Türkmen, Dr Sophie Lauwers, and Dr Marietta van der Tol.

Speaker biographies

Professor Jonathan Wolff is the Alfred Landecker Professor of Values and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government and Governing Body Fellow at Wolfson College. He was formerly Blavatnik Chair in Public Policy at the School, and before that Professor of Philosophy and Dean of Arts and Humanities at UCL. He is a political philosopher who works on questions of inequality, disadvantage and social justice.

Dr Lior Erez is the Alfred Landecker Postdoctoral Fellow at the Blavatnik School of Government and an associate member of Nuffield College. He is a normative political theorist, working primarily at the intersection between international relations, global ethics, and politics of citizenship and migration. His current book project focuses on practices in naturalisation policy beyond immigration and residence.

Dr Gülay Türkmen is a cultural sociologist examining how macro-scale historical, cultural and political developments inform questions of belonging and identity-formation in multicultural societies. My research interests stand at the intersection of politics and religion, as they relate to questions of identity, migration, diversity, and citizenship.

Dr Sophie Lauwers is a political philosopher working on secularism, Christian privilege, racial and religious inequality, nationalism and culturalism. She obtained her PhD at the University of Aberdeen and is currently postdoctoral researcher in Philosophy and in Theology and Religious Studies, at the KU Leuven.

Dr Marietta van der Tol’s is a college lecturer in Politics at Lincoln college and postdoctoral researcher with the Alfred Landecker Programme at the Blavatnik School of Government. Her research is in the comparative study of politics, law, and religion. She is author of the book Constitutional Intolerance: The Fashioning of the Other in Europe’s Constitutional Repertoires (CUP July/August 2024).

Dr Vera Messing is a sociologist at the Hungarian Institute of Sociology, HUN-REN CSS and the Democracy Institute (Central European University). Her work focuses on comparative understanding of different forms and intersections of social inequalities and ethnicity and their consequences. She is specifically interested in policy and civil responses to ethnic diversity in the field of education and labour market.

Prof András L. Pap is Research Professor in Constitutional and Administrative Law at the HUN-REN Centre for Social Sciences as well as Professor of Law at the Faculty of Economics at Eötvös University (ELTE) and Adjunct Professor in the Nationalism Studies Program at the Central European University in Vienna. His research interests include comparative constitutional law, human rights, and law enforcement. In 2018 he founded the International Association of Constitutional Law (IACL) Research Group on identity, race, and ethnicity in constitutional law.

Dr Tina Magazzini is a political scientist interested in how categories of belonging are created, maintained, and institutionalized in different settings. She is a Senior Researcher at the Czech Academy of Sciences, in the department of Migration and Mobility, and Maria Zambrano researcher at the University of Coruña. Her research focuses on inclusion and exclusion policies from a comparative perspective, anti-discrimination, and the relationship between majorities, minorities, and states.

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