WHY THE TURKS HAVE IT BETTER IN GERMANY: A COMPARATIVE, HISTORICAL ANALYSIS OF POLICY TRAJECTORIES IN US BILINGUAL EDUCATION AND GERMAN ISLAMIC RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION FROM 1965-2010
Parris, Girma Elyot
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This study offers a test case for Zolberg and Woon's (1999) "Why Islam is like Spanish," treating Islamic religious instruction in Germany and US bilingual education as comparable issue areas in political incorporation in their respective nations. Since the 1980s, policy trends in US bilingual education (at the national and state level) indicate policy rollback. This is despite a long period of political incorporation for the main beneficiary of these policies, immigrants of Mexican descent. By contrast, policy trends in Islamic religious instruction in Germany indicate modest expansionary trends despite comparatively less political incorporation of and a shorter immigration history for its main beneficiaries, immigrants of Turkish descent. This belies the literature in political science that argues that entrenched groups are well positioned to secure/defend favorable policy outcomes in issue areas of interest. Through a comparative study of national and sub-national variation in policy trajectories in Germany and the US, this study will argue that Turkish interests have been better positioned in Germany to attain their policy interests in religious instruction, situated in a setting characterized by corporatist interest intermediation and historic elite support for religious instruction as a means of integration. This contrasts with their Mexican counterparts in the US, whose prospects (historically) of attaining their desired outcomes in bilingual education policy have been less favorable. Mexican interests operate within the laissez faire, competitive, political marketplace of American pluralism where bilingual education has been a historically polarizing issue among elites. Through close rendering of primary and secondary sources, this study will build and compare national and subnational policy narratives in the issues areas of focus spanning from 1965 through 2010.