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När islam blev svenskt : föreställningar om islam och muslimer i svensk offentlig politik 1975-2010

Publiceringsår: 2012
Språk: Svenska
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Lund Studies in History of Religions
Volym: 33
Dokumenttyp: Doktorsavhandling
Förlag: Centre for Theology and Religious Studies, Lund University


This dissertation aims to contribute to the study of the relationship between religion and politics and especially research about Islam and Muslims in Sweden. The thesis analyzes how Islam and Muslims are depicted in Swedish public policy debates between 1975–2010. The research questions are: How are Islam and Muslims described in Swedish public policy? Which questions and in what circumstances are Islam and Muslims described and discussed? How are Islam and Muslims represented in relation to Swedishness? Is collectivity assumed in the desciptions of Islam and Muslims, or is the variety of Muslims highlighted? The thesis also examines changes and continuity over time in the various discourses constructed about Islam and Muslims. The emperical material consists of major government documents, official government inquiries, parliamentary debates, bills, committee work, and proposals for parliamentary resolutions.

The analysis draws upon a combination of discourse theory as formulated by Michel Foucault, including his thoughts on governmentality, and postcolonial theory as formulated by Edward Said, Homi K. Bhabha and Stuart Hall, which emphasizes questions concerning representation, stereotypes, Orientalism and imitation. The thesis demonstrates shifts that have occurred in the discourses concerning Islam and Muslims in public policy debates. In the initial two periods of 1975–1980 and 1980-1990, Islam and Muslims were mostly related to questions concerning practical issues like education and religious slaughter. During the 1990s the shift included a focus on independent Islamic schools, immigration and a more explicit focus on problems related to Islam and Muslims in Swedish society. During the period between 2001–2010, there was another shift that included focus on questions concerning Islamism, islamophobia and anti-Semitism among muslims.

In the final chapter four different discourses are identified that compete to define and explain Islam and Muslims. The first is a discourse on integration; the second concerns equality; the third focuses on security; and the fourth is a discourse on homogenization. In conclusion the dissertation highlights how the Swedish state and the political parties through various strategies have tried to administer, channel and construct an acceptable version of Islam that incorporates moderate values, is secularized and liberal.


Sal 118, CTR, Allhelgona kyrkogata 8, Lund
  • Göran Larsson (Professor)


  • Philosophy, Ethics and Religion
  • Public policy
  • Sweden
  • Islamology
  • SOU
  • Parliamentary debates
  • Islam
  • Muslims
  • Discourse theory
  • Foucault
  • Governmentality
  • Postcolonial theory
  • Said
  • Bhabha
  • Hall
  • Representation
  • Stereotypes
  • Orientalism
  • Imitation


  • Jonas Otterbeck
  • Mikael Spång
  • ISSN: 1103-4882
  • ISBN: 978-91-7473-384-6

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