Between Demands for Recognition and Politics of Accommodation

Project Description

The Swiss public authorities are increasingly targeted by the demands for recognition made by a wide range of cultural minorities. In this dynamic, the state plays an important role in distributing symbolic and legal resources to different groups and therefore promoting social and political integration. However, the success of the strategy of accommodation implemented by the state is also dependent on the individual and organizational characteristics of the minorities at stake. A careful scrutiny of these dimensions is crucial in order to both understand the sociological and political factors fostering or preventing social and political integration as well as social cohesion and to normatively assess the success and legitimacy of the process of accommodation of cultural minorities. The Muslim minority is increasingly seen as the most difficult minority to accommodate within the Swiss multicultural system, and this for religious, social, and political reasons. The aim of the research is to study the cultural, social, and political orientations of Muslims in Switzerland. This is assumed to be influenced by four main factors: (1) the knowledge, demands, and activities of Muslim religious and associative leaders; (2) state policies and practices towards Muslims; (3) the socioeconomic and organizational structure of the Muslim minority; and (4) the opinions and attitudes of the native population towards Muslims. The research should lead to a better understanding of the social and political dynamics inherent to the management of cultural and religious pluralism in Switzerland. This is a necessary step in order to figure out practical applications aiming at improving social and multicultural cohesion in Switzerland. In particular, we should be able to provide new knowledge on the characteristics, needs and orientations of Muslims that may guide state policies and practices towards them.

To know more: Final report (in French), Summary sheet (in French), SNSF Research Database

NRP 58 website:


Team Information

Main applicant: Marco Giugni, University of Geneva

Co-applicant: Matteo Gianni, University of Geneva



A population survey on a representative sample of the resident Muslim population and a control group of non-Muslim residents (micro-level data on the individual characteristics of Muslims as well as on the opinions and attitudes of the native population towards Muslims).

Spatial Coverage: Switzerland

Time Method: Cross-section

Analysis Unit: Individuals

Universe: Resident Muslim population and control group of non-Muslim citizens in Switzerland.

Mode of Data Collection: Survey by Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) of foreigners of Islamic confession and Swiss citizens.

Data Collection Instruments: Questionnaire in English, Questionnaire in German, Questionnaire in French

Sampling Description: Random quota representative of the structure of the population of the following groups: Turkish, Maghrebians (Algeria, Marocco and Tunisia) and Former-Yougoslavians (Kosovo, Bosnia Herzegovina, Macedonia and Montenegro). Sample Size: 302 Turkish; 298 Maghrebians; 301 Former-Yougoslavians and 305 non-Muslim Swiss citizens.

Further Documentation: Technical report (in French)

How to Get the Data? To access the dataset, click here

How to Cite? Between Demands for Recognition and Politics of Accomodation: Population survey of Muslim groups and control group. [Dataset]. Distributed by FORS, Lausanne, 2020.


Selected Publications

Gianni, Matteo; Giugni, Marco; Michel, Noémi. 2015. Les musulmans en Suisse: Profils et Intégration. Lausanne: Presses polytechniques et universitaires romandes.