Islam and the New Political Landscape: Faith Communities, Political Participation and Social Change

Back, Les; Keith, Michael; Khan, Azra; Shukra, Kalbir and Solomos, J.. 2009. Islam and the New Political Landscape: Faith Communities, Political Participation and Social Change. Theory, Culture and Society, 26(4), pp. 1-24. ISSN 1460-3616 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

In this paper we consider the forms of democratic participation that revolve around issues of religious faith and Islam. The context of such work is one in which a concern with the levels of participation in the political institutions of Western Europe and North America feature prominently in both journalistic and academic debate. The paper speaks to debates that are concerned with the efficacy of specific forms of participation. In doing so we argue that we need to think carefully about the forms of social action that constitute participation in the democratic process. We also need to think precisely about definitions of the political with which people engage. If we take the political as a domain in which the ethical settlement of society is contestable the sorts of mobilisation around faith communities that this paper describes are clearly a form of political participation. Yet the paper argues that the reasons many become involved in these forms of social organisation in contemporary East London is precisely because they are seen as less complicit with mainstream political institutions of the British state.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


politics, faith, ethnic minority communities, the state, Islam

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS)


July 2009Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

09 Nov 2009 08:55

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 15:27

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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