Dissertation Abstracts

Welcome to Integrationland. On racism and the German Islam Conference

Author: Luis M. Hernandez Aguilar, luis.hernaguilar@gmail.com
Department: Sociology
University: Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Supervisor: Pro. Dr. Kira Kosnick
Year of completion: 2015
Language of dissertation: English

Keywords: Racism , German Islam Conference , Biopolitics , Discourse Analysis
Areas of Research: Racism, Nationalism and Ethnic Relations , Religion , Migration


In 2006 against the background of the increasing problematization of Muslims and Islam in Germany, the German government established the German Islam Conference (DIK). In a post 9/11 world, this was a time period shaped by the global ‘war on terror’ changes in the German naturalization law, the proliferation of racism targeting Muslims and migrants in the country, and the expansion of security apparatuses. The present study investigated the Islam Conference as the key agency of the German state articulating the government of Muslims and Islam. In particular it analyzed the interconnection between the dissemination of racial representations of Muslims and the deployment of technologies of power (biopolitics, discipline, governmentality, pastoral power) in the ongoing processes of state and subject formation. My contention is that, within the discourses of the DIK, the entangled and polysemic dynamics of race, gender, sexuality, secularity and time discursively produced Muslims as archaic subjects in need of guidance and reformation, from which the imperative of integration draws its legitimacy. Methodologically, I investigated the DIK’s representations of Muslims through a critical discourse analysis (CDA) of every document published by the institution from 2006 until 2014. These included interim reports, press releases and flyers, studies and reports, the DIK’s web page, and visual forms of representation.

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