Middlebury

 

Erik Bleich

Professor of Political Science

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Phone: work802.443.3254
Fax: fax(802) 443-2050
Office Hours: ON LEAVE ACADEMIC YEAR
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Erik Bleich joined the Political Science department in the fall of 1999. He has served as Director of European Studies and Director of International Politics & Economics and is currently Professor of Political Science.

His most recent book, The Freedom to Be Racist? How the United States and Europe Struggle to Preserve Freedom and Combat Racism (Oxford University Press, 2011), explores how the United States and European liberal democracies balance a desire to promote freedom with the goal of curbing racism, focusing on hard cases in which people use liberal democratic freedoms to propagate racism.

His broader research interests revolve around the topics of race and ethnicity in West European politics. His first book, Race Politics in Britain and France: Ideas and Policymaking since the 1960s (Cambridge University Press, 2003) examines how theories of ideas and policymaking help explain different race policy outcomes in the two countries. Since that time, he has published on topics such as hate crimes, political violence, the status of Muslims, the concept of Islamophobia, ethnic riots, theories of immigration and integration, and the legacies of colonial history on contemporary policymaking. His articles have appeared in journals such as World Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Comparative Politics, the European Political Science Review, the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, and Theory & Society. He has also edited and contributed to the book Muslims and the State in the Post-9/11 West (Routledge, 2010).

 

Courses


indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

FYSE 1383 - Muslim Politics in the West      

“The Muslim” — Politics and Perceptions in the West*
Do Muslims pose special challenges for Western societies? Are Muslims particularly prone to violence? Are “their” values compatible with “ours?” In this seminar we will explore constructions of “the Muslim” in Western societies by discussing the following topics: the history of Muslim migration to the West; portrayals of Muslims by Western writers and media; Muslims voices about their place in Western societies; the extent of anti-Muslim sentiments throughout the West; and contemporary political conflicts such as those surrounding the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh in the Netherlands, the Danish cartoon controversy, and the banning of veils in France. 3 hrs. sem./disc.

CMP CW

Fall 2012

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IGST 0702 / INTL 0702 - EUS Senior Thesis      

European Studies Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Winter 2014

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IGST 0706 - MES Senior Thesis      

Middle East Studies Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Winter 2013, Winter 2014

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INTL 0505 - EUS Independent Research      

European Studies Independent Project
(Approval Required)

Fall 2011, Fall 2012

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INTL 0706 - MES Senior Thesis      

African Studies Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Fall 2012

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IPEC 0500 - Independent Project      

Independent Project
(Approval Required)

Fall 2010, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015

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IPEC 0700 - Intl.Pol.&Economics SR. Thesis      

Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Winter 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015

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PSCI 0103 - Intro to Comparative Politics      

Introduction to Comparative Politics
This course offers an introduction to the comparative study of political systems and to the logic of comparative inquiry. How are different political systems created and organized? How and why do they change? Why are some democratic and others authoritarian? Why are some rich and others poor? Other topics covered in this course include nationalism and political ideologies, forms of representation, the relationship between state institutions and civil society, and globalization. The goal in this course is to use comparative methods to analyze questions of state institutions -- how they arise, change, and generate different economic, social, and political outcome. 3 hrs. lect./disc. (Comparative Politics)

CMP SOC

Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2013, Spring 2014

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PSCI 0225 - West European Politics      

West European Politics
An introduction to the domestic politics of Western Europe since 1945, focusing on Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and the European Union. Topics include representation, the role of the state in promoting economic growth, social capital and democratic performance, transitions to democracy, and the welfare state. The second half of the course will focus on issues high on the current European agenda, including unemployment, economic reform, the rise of far-right parties and globalization. 3 hrs. lect./disc. (Comparative Politics)/

EUR SOC

Fall 2010, Fall 2012

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PSCI 0232 - Diversity Politics in Europe      

The Politics of Diversity in Western Europe
Contrary to common perceptions, most West European populations are no longer overwhelmingly white and Christian. The new diversity prompted by post-World War II immigration has generated opportunities and challenges for European societies. In this course, we will examine how ethnic diversity is affecting contemporary West European politics. We will cover the topics of citizenship, immigration, immigrant integration, the rise of far right parties, and state policies toward Europe's new ethnically, racially, and religiously diverse societies. 3 hrs. lect./disc. (Comparative Politics)/

EUR SOC

Spring 2012, Fall 2013

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PSCI 0240 - Comp Pol of Ethnic Diversity      

Race Around the World: The Comparative Politics of Ethnic Diversity
This course aims to promote reflection on the interactions between the state and ethnic and racially diverse societies. We will examine the political development of concepts of race and racism and address topics such as slave emancipation, anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, and decolonization, as well as contemporary issues such as affirmative action, hate crimes, and Islamophobia. We will draw on readings and case studies from North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia. 3 hrs. lect./disc. (Comparative Politics)/

CMP SOC

Fall 2010, Spring 2012, Fall 2013

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PSCI 0460 - European Politics Seminar      

Seminar on West European Politics
In this course we will examine various aspects of European politics through the process of directed research projects. Students may cover any aspect of West European politics, such as how countries are responding to the contemporary economic environment, changes in domestic political party systems, the expansion of the European Union, the relationship between states and civil societies, and immigrant integration. Students will write a major research paper on a topic in European politics that they have selected. 3 hrs. sem. (Comparative Politics)/

EUR SOC

Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2014

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PSCI 0470 - Race and Ethnic Politics      

Race and Ethnic Politics
This seminar is designed to build upon students' own interests, as each participant will write a 30-35 page research paper on a topic in race and ethnic politics that they have selected, drawing on any time period, country, or region of the world. We will discuss how to craft a research paper and will collectively workshop student papers-in-progress. This course will be of particular interest to seniors wishing to engage in a capstone project, or to juniors exploring a potential senior thesis topic. 3 hrs. sem. (Comparative Politics)/

SOC

Spring 2013

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PSCI 0500 - Independent Project      

Independent Projects
A program of independent work designed to meet the individual needs of advanced students. (Approval required)

Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014

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PSCI 0700 - Honors Thesis      

Honors Thesis
(Approval required)

Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014

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Faculty Expert Profile

Erik Bleich Faculty Expert Profile

Books

The Freedom to Be Racist? How the United States and Europe Struggle to Preserve Freedom and Combat Racism, Oxford University Press, 2011

Muslims and the State in the Post-9/11 West, editor, Routledge, 2010; also published as the March 2009 special issue of the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies

Race Politics in Britain and France: Ideas and Policymaking since the 1960s, Cambridge University Press, 2003

Refereed Journal Articles

"What Makes Muslims Feel French?” with Rahsaan Maxwell, forthcoming in Social Forces

" Explaining Differences between High Court Regulations in the USA and EuropeFreedom of Expression versus Racist Hate Speech: Explaining Differences between High Court Regulations in the USA and Europe," Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 40, 2, 2014: 283-300

 Evidence from 10 Liberal DemocraciesWhy Racist Associations Are Free in Some States and Banned in Others: Evidence from 10 Liberal Democracies,” with Francesca Lambert, West European Politics, 36, 1, 2013: 122-49

"Defining and Researching IslamophobiaDefining and Researching Islamophobia," Review of Middle East Studies, Winter 2012, Vol. 46, no. 2, 179-88

What Is Islamophobia, and How Much Is There? Theorizing and Measuring an Emerging Comparative ConceptWhat Is Islamophobia, and How Much Is There? Theorizing and Measuring an Emerging Comparative Concept,” American Behavioral Scientist, 55, December 2011: 1581-1600

The Rise of Hate Speech and Hate Crime Laws in Liberal DemocraciesThe Rise of Hate Speech and Hate Crime Laws in Liberal Democracies,” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 37, 6, July 2011: 917-34

"Social Research and 'Race' Policy Framing in Britain and FranceSocial Research and 'Race' Policy Framing in Britain and France," British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 13, 1, January 2011: 59-74

" Evidence from Western EuropeState Responses to 'Ethnic Riots' in Liberal Democracies: Evidence from Western Europe," with Carolina Caeiro and Sarah Luehrman, European Political Science Review, 2, 2, July 2010: 269-95

"Where do Muslims Stand on Ethno-Racial Hierarchies in Britain and France?  Evidence from Public Opinion Surveys, 1988-2008Where do Muslims Stand on Ethno-Racial Hierarchies in Britain and France? Evidence from Public Opinion Surveys, 1988-2008," Patterns of Prejudice, 43, 3-4, July/September 2009: 379-400

"Muslims and the State in the Post-9/11 West:  IntroductionMuslims and the State in the Post-9/11 West: Introduction" Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 35, 3, March 2009: 353-60

"  A Comparison of Six West European CountriesState Responses to 'Muslim' Violence: A Comparison of Six West European Countries," Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 35, 3, March 2009: 361-79

Immigration and Integration Studies in Western Europe and the United States The Road Less Traveled and a Path AheadImmigration and Integration Studies in Western Europe and the United States:  The Road Less Traveled and a Path Ahead,” World Politics, 60, 3, April 2008: 509-38

 The Evolution of German Approaches to Measuring ‘Hate Crimes’Quantifying Hate: The Evolution of German Approaches to Measuring ‘Hate Crimes’,” with Ryan K. Hart, German Politics, 17, 1, March 2008: 63-80

" Responding to Racist Violence in Britain, Germany and FranceHate Crime Policy in Western Europe: Responding to Racist Violence in Britain, Germany and France," American Behavioral Scientist, 51, 2, October 2007: 149-65.

  Response to Tariq Modood and Randall HansenOn Democratic Integration and Free Speech: Response to Tariq Modood and Randall Hansen,” in Modood, Hansen, Bleich, O’Leary, & Carens, “The Danish Cartoon Affair: Free Speech, Racism, Islamism, and Integration,” International Migration 44, 5, December 2006: 3-62

 Norms, Lesson-Drawing, and the Introduction of Race-Conscious Measures in the 1976 British Race Relations ActInstitutional Continuity and Change: Norms, Lesson-Drawing, and the Introduction of Race-Conscious Measures in the 1976 British Race Relations Act,” Policy Studies, 27, 3, 2006: 219-34

The Legacies of History?  Colonization and Immigrant Integration in Britain and FranceThe Legacies of History? Colonization and Immigrant Integration in Britain and France,” Theory and Society 34, 2, April 2005: 171-95

 du déni à la lutteHistoire des politiques antidiscrimination: du déni à la lutteHommes & Migrations, no. 1245, septembre – octobre 2003 : 6-18

 Frames and Race Policies in Britain and FranceIntegrating Ideas into Policymaking Analysis: Frames and Race Policies in Britain and France,” Comparative Political Studies 35, 9, November 2002: 1054-76

 Politics and Policy in a ‘Color-Blind’ StateAntiracism without Races: Politics and Policy in a ‘Color-Blind’ State,” French Politics, Culture & Society 18, 3, Fall 2000: 48-74

 Educational Multiculturalism in England and FranceFrom International Ideas to Domestic Policies: Educational Multiculturalism in England and France,” Comparative Politics 31, 1, October 1998: 81-100

Book Chapters and Other Publications

How to Report Interview DataHow to Report Interview Data,” with Robert Pekkanen, in Layna Mosley, ed., Interview Research in Political Science, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2013: 84-105

Free Speech or Hate Speech? The Danish Cartoon Controversy in the European Legal ContextFree Speech or Hate Speech? The Danish Cartoon Controversy in the European Legal Context,"in Kavita Khory, ed., Global Migration: Challenges in the 21st Century, New York: Palgrave, 2012: 113-28

 De l’incompréhension mutuelle à la concertation?Les politiques de diversité raciale en France et en Grande-Bretagne: De l’incompréhension mutuelle à la concertation?" in James Cohen, Andrew J. Diamond, and Philippe Vervaecke, eds., L’Atlantique multiracial:. Discours, politiques dénis, Paris: Éditions Karthala, 2012: 181-203.

“France,” in David Samuels, ed., Case Studies in Comparative Politics, New York: Pearson, 2012: 114-49

 Where Do Muslims Really Stand?Assessing Islamophobia though Survey Evidence: Where Do Muslims Really Stand?” with Rahsaan Maxwell, in Marc Helbling, ed., Islamophobia in Western Europe and North America, London: Routledge, 2012: 39-55

"  British Policy Responses to 'Islamist' ExtremismFaith and State: British Policy Responses to 'Islamist' Extremism," in Roger Eatwell and Matthew Goodwin, eds., The New Extremism in 21st Century Britain, London: Routledge, 2010

"Responding to Racist Violence in Europe and the United StatesResponding to Racist Violence in Europe and the United States," in Joanna Goodey and Kauko Aromaa, eds., Hate Crime, Helsinki: HEUNI, 2008

 Race and Identity in France and the United StatesFrom Republican Citizens to ‘Young Ethnics’ in the ‘Other France’: Race and Identity in France and the United States,” French Politics, 6, 2008: 166-177

“Constructing Muslims as Ethno-Racial Outsiders in Western Europe,” Council for European Studies Newsletter, 36, 1/2, September 2006: 1, 3-7

Des colonies à la métropoleDes colonies à la métropole. Le poids de l’histoire sur l’intégration des immigrés en Grande-Bretagne et en France,” in Patrick Weil and Stéphane Dufoix, eds., L’esclavage, la colonisation, et après, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 2005

Racism and Racially Motivated AttacksRacism and Racially Motivated Attacks,” in Mathew J. Gibney and Randall Hansen, eds., Immigration and Asylum: From 1900 to the Present, Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2005

“Antiracism without Races: Politics and Policy in a ‘Color-Blind’ State,” in Herrick Chapman and Laura Frader, eds., Race in France: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Politics of Difference, New York: Berghahn Books, 2004

 Color-Blind IntegrationThe French Model: Color-Blind Integration,” John David Skrentny, ed., Color Lines: Affirmative Action, Immigration and Civil Rights Options for America, University of Chicago Press, 2001

"Race Policy in France," Brookings U.S.-France Analysis Series, 2001, on line at http://www.brookings.edu/articles/2001/05france_bleich.aspx

Re-Imagined Communities? Education Policies and National Belonging in Britain and FranceRe-Imagined Communities? Education Policies and National Belonging in Britain and France,” in Adrian Favell and Andrew Geddes, eds., The Politics of Belonging: Migrants and Minorities in Contemporary Europe, Aldershot: Ashgate/ICCR, 1999: 60-75

Work In Progress

“Portrayals of Muslims in British Newspaper Headlines: 2001-2012,” with Hannah Stonebraker, Hasher Nisar, and Rana Abdelhamid

“Applying Theories of Judicial Decisionmaking in a New Institutional Setting: French Court of Cassation Rulings on Racist Hate Speech,” with Zoe Hamilton

Research Projects

My book, The Freedom to Be Racist? How the United States and Europe Struggle to Preserve Freedom and Combat Racism (Oxford University Press, 2011), starts from the premise that liberal democratic citizens love freedom and hate racism, but have a difficult time deciding what to do when those values collide. The book explores policies that the United States, Britain, France, Germany, and other liberal democracies have implemented when forced to choose between preserving freedom and combating racism. The comparative historical approach reveals that while most countries have increased restrictions on racist speech, groups, and actions since the end of World War II, this trend has resembled a slow creep more than a slippery slope. Each country has sought to achieve a balance between protecting freedom and reducing racism, and the outcomes have been starkly different across time and place. Building on these observations, I argue that we should pay close attention to the specific context and to the likely effects of any policy we implement, and that any response should be proportionate to the level of harm the racism inflicts. Ultimately, the best way for societies to preserve freedom while fighting racism is through processes of public deliberation that involve citizens in decisions that impact the core values of liberal democracies.

My first book, Race Politics in Britain and France: Ideas and Policymaking since the 1960s (Cambridge University Press 2003), uses theories of policymaking to examine the development of race policies on either side of the English Channel. I demonstrate the central importance of ideas in driving different policy outcomes between the two countries. I argue that British and French policymakers hold different ideas about race and racism, and that these “frames” help shape each country’s policies. To demonstrate the argument, I retrace the history of race policy development in Britain and France since the end of the Second World War, drawing on archival material and dozens of interviews with participants in the policymaking process. This extensive empirical material forms the basis for my conclusions about the role of frames in these cases, and about the role of ideas in policymaking in general.

I have also edited a book (originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies) called Muslims and the State in the Post-9/11 West (Routledge, 2010). It contains my article on the commonalities among British, French, German, Dutch, Italian and Spanish responses to the rising associations between violence and Islam. The book as a whole examines the ways in which Muslims are problematized and have responded to characterizations that link them to new security challenges in the 21st century.

My current research is focused on two main topics. In a continuation of my work on the tensions between protecting freedom and fighting racism, I am examining French and European courts' decisions in hate speech cases, aiming to understand how real-world judges draw the line between legal and illegal speech. I am also working on several papers on portrayals of minorities in the media by coding headlines and full-text articles about Muslims and other groups since the mid-1980s.