By Gregorio Bettiza and Christopher Phillips

This article compares American and European policy discourses and practices towards ‘Islam’ as a religion and the ‘Muslim world’ as a specific religious-defined category of countries and peoples in world politics. In the European case, we explore the policies of EU institutions as well as two key European countries with important international roles such as the U.K. and France. This comparative analysis reveals that there are multiple and conflicting approaches to Islam across the American and European (EU, British, and French) cases. We argue that the variety of approaches observed is rooted in diverse understandings – based on different American, EU, British, and French identities, geopolitics, power resources, and security interests – of what ‘Islam’ and the ‘Muslim world’ are.


Islam is in the Eye of the Beholder: Explaining the Variance in American and European Discourses and Practices towards ‘Islam’ and ‘Muslims’ (245.92 KB)