[Between Summit Cross and Crescent. The Conflict over Islam in Austria and Switzerland, 1998-2007] with Martin Dolezal und Marc Helbling. Österreichische Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft 37(4) 2008, 401-417.
The increasing presence of Muslim migrants and their religious-cultural claims towards the state engender new conflicts in many European countries. This article investigates Austria and Switzerland - two so far neglected cases - and focuses on the influence of different participation models and regulations concerning the relationship between religion (Islam) and the state. Our data - collected by means of a core-sentence based media content-analysis - show that Islam has become an important political issue much later than in comparable countries and that right-wing populist parties play an important role in this conflict. Differences in the structure of these controversies can be explained by contextual factors: In Austria, the official recognition of Islam and the associated issuespecific opportunity structures lead to a higher participation of Muslim actors and a debate that includes more pragmatic arguments. In Switzerland, as a consequence of the general participation model, state-centred, institutionalised action repertoires and context events as well as political parties are of less importance than in Austria.