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The research presented in this video explores attitudes towards immigrants and their religious rights in Western societies, based on survey data. MARC HELBLING finds that religiosity and liberal values are key variables: Individuals with liberal values are generally more tolerant towards immigrants – but tolerate religious rights less. Religious people by contrast are less tolerant towards immigrants – but more open towards their religious rights. This suggests that religion still shapes the way social issues are dealt with.


Marc Helbling is Professor of Political Sociology at the Department of Political Science at the University of Bamberg and a Research Fellow at the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB) where he was head of the Emmy-Noether research group ‚Immigration Policies in Comparison (IMPIC). He was a visiting lecturer at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and a visiting scholar at the Centre for European Studies at Harvard University and at the Centre for European Studies at New York University.

Helbling’s research is dedicated to immigration and citizenship policies, nationalism, xenophobia/islamophobia, the accommodation of Islam and right-wing populism in Europe. He was an elected member of the Young Academy at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and received the 2011 Young Scholar Research Award from the Mayor of Berlin.


University of Bamberg (Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg)

The University of Bamberg, with more than 13,000 students, is among Germany‘s medium-sized universities. Its main areas of academic focus lie in the Humanities, Social Sciences, Economics, Business Administration and Human Sciences. These are rounded out by numerous programmes in application-oriented computer science. Cooperation between academia, commerce, culture and society benefits all parties: scholars investigate concrete issues and, together with their students, contribute to the implementation of potential solutions. Since the founding of the University of Bamberg in 1647, it is the people who have been its top priority. The close proximity of students and researchers provides for excellent advisory services, personal communication and interdisciplinary studies. The university currently offers roughly 100 programmes at the bachelor‘s and master‘s level. (Source: University of Bamberg)
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Original publication

Opposing Muslims and the Muslim Headscarf in Western Europe

Helbling Marc
European Sociological Review
Published in 2014

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