Public Deliberation, Network Analysis and the Political Integration of Muslims in Britain
British journal of politics and international relations
GB : Blackwell
428 - 451 p.
Deliberative democracy, Network analysis, Political integration, British Muslims
In this article, we examine the assumption that, insofar as actors deliberate well, political integration will follow. We do so specifically with respect to the political integration of Muslims in the field of ethnic relations in Britain, using data retrieved from two quality British broadsheets. Our approach has two components. First, we consider the quality of the deliberative interventions actors make, comparing Muslim actors with other actors. Second, we use measures drawn from network analysis to assess the level of political integration as indicated by the ties that those deliberative interventions forge. Our findings show that the link between how Muslim actors deliberate and their political integration in the field is more complex that one might assume. Although Muslims do not deliberate as well as normative deliberative theory says they should, empirically they are politically integrated, having forged diverse relationships that avoid the danger of polarisation.