Susanna Mancini

University of Bologna

Islamophobia as a democratic challenge

2017-2018: Spring

Susanna Mancini (Ph.D., European University Institute, 1995; JD, University of Bologna, 1991) is the Chair of Comparative Constitutional Law at the University of Bologna School of Law. She is also affiliated to the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University, and she is a recurrent visiting professor at the Central European University (Budapest) and the Cardozo School of Law (New York City). She has taught at the Fordham School of Law (New York City), at the Toulouse School of Law (France) and at the Radyzner School of Law of the Interdisciplinary Center (Israel). Susanna is the Italian member of the Executive Committee of the International Association of Constitutional Law, and she served as the chair of the program committee for the World Congress of Constitutional Law (Oslo, 2014). 

Susanna’s research has a strong interdisciplinary focus. She approaches law in its cultural dimension through which it incorporates social practices and features in the construction of social relations. She is interested in exploring how race and gender-related social and cultural constructs have shaped the balance of power and privilege in a liberal society, and in the role of the law in perpetuating and/or combating the marginalization of women and of racial, religious and sexual minorities. Her work explores issue of law and religion, reproductive rights, the partnership of feminism and multiculturalism, and the protection of ethnic minorities. Her latest publications include two co-edited volumes (with Michel Rosenfeld), Constitutional Secularism in an Age of Religious Revival (Oxford University Press, 2014), and The Conscience Wars (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming, 2017) and the casebook Comparative Constitutional Law. Cases and Materials (with Norman Dorsen Michel Rosenfeld, Andras Sajo and Susanne Baer, West, 2016). 

Susanna’s present research focuses on the democratic challenge posed by anti-Muslim populism in contemporary liberal democracies. Drawing on a comparison between contemporary Islamophobia, traditional anti-Semitism and American racial segregation, she explores how the construction of a racialized outcast signals a deviation from the pluralistic model of democracy and sets the premises for a Schmittian identitarian derailment. 

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