Research foci

Foreign reporting

Transnational public spheres and globalization

From 1995 to 2000, Prof. Dr. Kai Hafez carried out a research project on the subject of "International and intercultural representation processes in mass media: The Middle East and Islam in the German press" at the German Orient Institute. It was funded by the Volkswagen Foundation (1995-1998) and by a habilitation grant from the German Research Foundation (DFG). In the project, theoretical foundations for research on foreign reporting were developed, which had never been formulated as a homogeneous theoretical draft before. The resulting theoretical model conceives the influence of journalists, media organizations as well as politics and society on the foreign image of the media on several levels (micro, meso and macro theory). In essence, the previously existing link between media and steoreotype theory or other theorems for researching text structures is untied and expanded through a system-theoretical concept of the creation and impact potential of media content.


"Die politische Dimension der Auslandsberichterstattung" [The political dimension of foreign reporting]
Vol. 1: Theoretische Grundlagen. [Theoretical foundations]
Vol. 2: Das Nahost- und Islambild der deutschen überregionalen Presse. [The image of Middle East and Islam in the German national press]
NOMOS-Verlag, Baden-Baden, 2002

Media and immigration

Media, Immigration, Refugees and Right-wing populists

The chair of Prof. Dr. Kai Hafez has researched the representation of refugees in the German media. Large German mass media favored the German government's supportive treatment of refugees in the spring of 2015, but they were and are also jointly responsible for the negative turnaround in public discourse since the autumn of the same year. The parallel upheavals in the public opinion climate suggest the assumption of a strong active role and impact of the media. The search for causes is therefore all the more important not only for the advocative role of the media, but also for their sudden “compassion fatigue”. Populist tendencies, unclear editorial policies and a lack of consensus on “humanitarian journalism” are among the driving forces behind an often unrealistic perception of the crisis, which not least favors right-wing populism. However, the collapse of a consensus in the political center of power of the German government camp is also clear, against the background of which the strong media impact was only able to develop, as there is no basic humanitarian consensus here either.

Prof. Hafez also made the media responsible for the current right-wing populist wave in the USA and parts of Europe when commenting on a research project by the renowned London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). While comparative European studies unanimously showed that international politics in the Middle East as the cause of the wave of refugees is hidden in the media, at the same time the right-wing populism from Trump to Brexit to the German AfD is given too much media attention. The so-called "post-factual" journalism, even where it reports critically, succumbs to the media tactics of the right based on polemics, sensation and collage. It is not the silent majority that is represented, but right-wing arguments are made presentable by the fact that they are often given more space than messages from other parties, which first draws attention to the agenda of right-wing movements in order to make them a rallying point of dissatisfaction and protest. Here, journalists often unconsciously become not only chroniclers, but also definitors of an anti-liberal zeitgeist. In the short term, this strategy may serve the media's commercial system interests. In the long term, however, post-factual journalism and radical politainment would question journalism as a system of meaningful social self-observation.


1. Kai Hafez, Lost in Discourse – the Mass Media’s Role in CreatingTrump and Right -Wing Populism,Talk Given at the London School of Economics and Political Science, November 18, 2016, as a Comment to the Research Project “Media Coverage of the ‘Refugee Crisis’: a Cross-European Perspective” by Dr Myria Georgiou and Dr Rafal Zaborowski

2. Kai Hafez, Compassion Fatigue der Medien? Warum der deutsche „Flüchtlingssommer“ so rasch wieder verging, in: Global Media Journal/German Edition Vol. 6, No.1, Spring/Summer 2016


Media systems and Globalization

The role of media in globalization

"Globalization" is the key concept of our era. Over the past two decades, politicians and scientists have almost unanimously viewed the collapse of familiar concepts of space and time and the cross-border networking of economies and societies as a new standard of action. Were they too hasty? Does this reflect an unreflected ideological deformation of our worldview today? Despite all recognizable signs of "globalization", the field of international communication as well as the "information society" are in most areas still a sideline of public communication. Whether it is about foreign reporting, satellite television, the internet, film production or other areas of media production and use: The media are still shaped to a large extent by local, national and regional processes worldwide. The political and economic dimensions of a "world media system" are only beginning to exist. In the field of mass media, globalization is a scarcely understandable "myth" that urgently needs a realistic revision in order to make the politically significant project sustainable.

Reviews of the book "The Myth of Media Globalization"

“This book carefully picks as under some of the key assumptions embedded in the accepted debate about globalization. The radical contribution of this fine book is its meticulous examination of evidence used in the mainstream globalization debate. Hafez insists, convincingly, that this myth is riddled with perceptual errors, ideological projections and political interests. This book is a well-argued, much-needed intervention that pleads for better scholarship to illuminate the ‘necessary myth’ of globalization.”
Prof. Farrell Corcoran, Dublin City University
in: Global Media and Communication

“The book offers a good combination of theoretical and empirical response to the mainstream debate about globalization challenges the easy assumption that the advance of globalization is inevitably taking over the world with enormous influence on different societies in terms of national politics, cultures and economy. What Hafez manages to achieve in this book is to affirm that there are no truly transnational media, and that the ultimate power in media regulation remains in national hands. We are yet to see the emergence of a global public sphere. Along with this interesting and useful argument that is not so ‘conventional’, this book offers a thorough review of the mainstream debate over globalization and its influence over the world, which I feel will be very useful. A major virtue of this book is that it does not only look into the cultural dimension of globalization, but also into the economic implications and impacts upon national politics, media policies and news and information.”
Dr. Lian Zhu, Bournemouth University
in: European Journal of Communication

“Hafez definitely succeeds at what he sets out to do: to critically summarize and assess the available empirical evidence of the various dimensions of media globalization using a system theory framework. The emphasis on actual empirical evidence for key statements in globalization scholarship is refreshing, and this book is an important contribution to the ongoing debate about media globalization. Recommended.”
Dr. Henrik Örnebring, University of Oxford
in: Hot Topics in Journalism and Mass Communication

“Given the scope and clarity, I would not hesitate to assign the book in upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses. Hafez delivers an airtight argument to respond to declarations about the new role of the ‘global media’ in a post-everything era.”
Prof. Silvio Waisbord, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
in: British Journal of Sociology

“To his immense credit, Hafez has attempted to provide not only a balanced survey of most of the existing literature on the topic, but also a carefully structured narrative that touches on most of the relevant aspects of the subject. Hafez declares at the outset his intention to recuperate the concept of globalization through theoretical refinement and empirical evidence. He is right in his estimation that such a reworking of what constitutes 'global' developments is a prerequisite to the evaluation of the debates on global media. Hafez's is a timely, careful, and important intervention, presented in a style that invites a readership that will include both students and researchers.”
Ramaswami Harindranath, University of Melbourne
in: Fifth-Estate-Online - International Journal of Radical Mass Media Criticism

“Hafez’s book is an effective and a worthwhile read for those interested in mass media and the grim facts behind its ownership and role in the modern world.”
Alexei Anisin, University of Essex
in: LSE Review of Books

“A breathless book that uses numerous examples to show how regionalism and locality are strengthened. At the same time, it exposes the myth of global unification of culture and ways of life. A stimulating read. "
Lothar Mikos
in: tv diskurs, Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle Medien

“Drawing on a tradition of revisionist scholarship, this argument represents a welcome balance to the widespread globalization-as-given narrative that has frequently dominated both academic and popular discussions of the issue. Also valuable is Hafez’s focus on a wide range of issues compared to more narrowly focused accounts of media globalization.”
Kalyani Chadha, University of Maryland
in: The Information Society

“The Myth of Media Globalization undoubtedly offers an important contribution to the fields of mass and media communications, and will prove useful to those dedicated to studying the political implications of media globalization. Its deft maneuvering between research materials and media platforms opens itself up to broad range of applications. And it provides a crucial reminder that our critical evaluations, whether they focus on film, television, new media, cultural representation and/or political economy, could always stand to be more nuanced by the historical and material realities of the global audiovisual landscape.”
Patty Jeehyun Ahn, University of Southern California
in: European Journal of Cultural Studies

“Hafez raises many important questions in a sober and critical way, without ever preaching. He shows a critical detachment that is further enhanced by the fact that he, unlike many of his colleagues, always keeps a focus on the way the individual interacts with the media. No matter what topic he discusses – the digital divide, xenophobia, or the new world order in the information age – Hafez never losses sight of the individuals who are hit by the wave of globalization and always insists on their (partial) immunity to the insinuations of global communication.”
Dr. Stephan Weichert, Institute for Media Policy, Berlin
in: Political Communication (also: Medien- und Kommunikationswissenschaft)

“Hafez’ book is an excellent introduction to the core issues at stake in media globalization and brings together an excellent array of case studies and alternative points of view to make a highly useful contribution to the ongoing discussion of globalization.”
Prof. Kaalev Leetaru
University of Illinois, USA

“Hafez' book is well written. The point is made convincingly that so far no global public sphere has been established. Therefore it seems too early to talk about a paradigmatic change of the global communication system. Nevertheless, Hafez argues, the myth of globalizatin has been helpful for a better understanding of global processes.”
Prof. Dr. Hans Kleinsteuber
University of Hamburg, Germany

“Globalization is understood to change space and time, economy, national societies and culture. Kai Hafez shows that one cannot speak in general about such a globalization of media. To a large extent, media are targeted and used by local and regional groups, and they mainly refer to local and regional processes. The author introduces a lot of new ideas in the discussion. In its critics of hasty concepts and conclusions, the book will be of high importance for the ongoing discussion on globalization and on the role of civil society.“
Prof. Dr. Friedrich Krotz
University of Erfurt, Germany

“The publication of Kai Hafez’s ‘The Myth of Media Globalization’ represents a valuable addition to the growing body of literature that challenges the easy assumptions of globalization theory. In a series of well-researched chapters, Hafez demonstrates that many of the commonplace assertions about the media and globalization, for example the emergence of a global public sphere, are lacking in any empirical support. As he puts it ‘the fundamental character of ego-centric national media systems remains untouched’. So, too, he demonstrates that the decisive levers of power in media regulation remain in national hands. This book will certainly become a ‘must read’ for any student working in the field.”
Prof. Colin Sparks
University of Westminster, London

Everyday culture, media and globalization

Alltagskultur, Medien und Globalisierung

Dr. Anne Grüne

  • Communication and Media Studies: theories of global communication, global media and everyday culture, comparative communication cultures, theories of entertainment and popular culture, qualitative methods in media and communication studies
  • Cultural Studies: theories of popular culture and everyday culture, theories of hybridity and inter-/trans-/multiculturalism, sociology of knowledge, cultural globalization

Media ethics

The Islamic-Western comparison

Prof. Dr. Kai Hafez was the head of the international conference "The Ethics of Journalism. Comparison and Transformations in the Islamic-Western Context", which was organized together with the Zeit Foundation in March 2001. The conference took place in Bellevue Palace in Berlin and was opened by Federal President Johannes Rau, under whose patronage it was held.

For this conference, Kai Hafez prepared a study on formal ethics in comparison between Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and in the Muslim part of Asia (Malaysia, Indonesia). In doing so, journalistic codes of conduct that were developed by journalists or their stakeholders were compared. Greater differences between Europe and many Islamic countries can still be seen today in the importance of freedom of expression. This is partly because journalism, just like its formal ethics, is under state control in many cases . Various catalogs of journalistic norms show that a recent development towards democratic principles of journalism indicates a partial convergence between Europe and the Islamic world, because restrictions on freedom of expression are only provided by other fundamental rights (personal protection, human rights). In many cases, however, there are also fundamental restrictions on freedom rights, which are ideological in nature, since national or religious objectives are laid down as boundary conditions. Overall, there are signs of a slow advance of the norms of freedom into the formal ethics of journalism in the Islamic world, although in many countries there are still serious deficits in relation to Europe.

Other areas of discussion about the values ​​and norms of journalism include "truth and objectivity", "privacy and publicity", the role of "religion and tradition" and "professional values" (dealing with sources, right to counterstatements, etc.). There is a broad intercultural consensus in establishing the claim to truth and objectivity as the central value of journalism. Privacy standards are generally more pronounced in the formal ethics of the Middle East, North Africa, and the majority Muslim countries in Asia than in Europe. However, the notion that in the Islamic world the protection of privacy (family and individual) always has priority over the interest of the public, and that there are fundamental differences in values to the West, must be put into perspective for various reasons:

1.) Balancing private protection and public information interests is now part of most journalistic behavioral catalogs in Islamic countries

2.) Specifically Islamic-religiously connoted media-ethical programs (especially Saudi Arabia's media charter, the Islamic media charter of Jakarta) do not mention privacy as the norm, which is equivalent to an Islamic-orthodox (and also Islamist) denial of the communicative individual.


Media Ethics in the Dialogue of Cultures. Journalistic Self-Regulation in Europe, the Arab World, and Muslim Asia, Hamburg: Deutsches Orient-Institut 2003

(Ed.) Media Ethics in the Dialogue of Cultures. Journalistic Self-Regulation in Europe, the Arab World, and Muslim Asia, Hamburg: Deutsches Orient-Institut 2003

Journalism Ethics Revisited: A Comparison of Ethics Codes in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Muslim Asia, in: Political Communication 19 (April-June 2002) 2, S. 225-250

The Dead End of Western-Style Journalism: How Important is Media Ethics in the Dialogue of Cultures, in: Natascha Fioretti/Marcello Foa (Ed.), Islam and the Western World: The Role of the Media, Lugano: European Journalism Observatory (EJO), 2008, S. 9-14

  • Reprinted in: Kai Hafez (Ed.), Media Ethics in the Dialogue of Cultures. Journalistic Self-Regulation in Europe, the Arab World, and Mulsim Asia, Hamburg: Deutsches Orient-Institut 2003, S. 39-68
  • Reprinted in: Howard Tumber (Ed.), Journalism: Critical Concepts in Media and Cultural Studies, London/New York: Routledge 2007, Vol. III, S. 258-286

The Unknown Desire for “Objectivity”: Journalism Ethics in Arab (and Western) Journalism, in: Kai Hafez (Ed.), Arab Media – Power and Weakness, London/New York: Continuum 2008, S. 147-164

Media and Political communication in the Middle East

Media and Political communication in the Middle East

Prof. Dr. Kai Hafez has addressed various aspects of media communication in the Middle East in a number of research initiatives in recent years. The central question was to what extent the process of globalization captured the regional media systems and contributed to their democratization. A linear development of an opening and pluralization of the media caused by global media cannot be determined. Rather, most of the signs of liberalization were and are unstable in nature and continue to be shaped by authoritarian nation-state policies. The recognizable revival of the media landscape is often the result of regional spillover effects, such as the shape of the critical news channel Al-Jazeera from Qatar, which is popular in the Arab countries. Regionalization enjoys the advantage of greater linguistic and cultural acceptance compared to globalization - even if new trends in a localization strategy of global (western) media are emerging after the recent war in Afghanistan (reform projects of international broadcasting, CNN planned channels in Arabic language, etc.). So-called "small" or "alternative" media have proven to be another stimulating factor, especially the Internet, which, however, continues to be an elite entity in the Middle East and North Africa. However, these elites also include political counter-elites of different stripes. Whether the Internet as a whole can be attributed to the civil society sector remains controversial due to the use of the network for state propaganda, by radical opposition forces and in regional conflicts ("cyber intifada" etc.).


Research results on the development of political communication in the context of globalization, regionalization and democratization have been published, inter alia, in:

Kai Hafez (Ed.), Arab Media – Power and Weakness, New York et al.: Continuum, 2009.

Rezensionen zu "Arab Media – Power and Weakness"

“A remarkable, diverse and thought provoking survey of the state of knowledge about Arab media and its effects on audiences. Newcomers to the topic will be fascinated by the range of fundamental questions in the field that remain unanswered. Veterans will be dazzled by the diversity of insights and new observations contained here.”
Jon Alterman, Director of the Middle East Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, D.C.

Arab Media: Power and Weakness gives a sophisticated and timely assessment of the emergent literature on mass media in the Arab world. The book brings what has been done into focus, and more importantly, sets out clear agendas for what needs to be done in the future. It puts the Arab world squarely in the mainstream of media studies, and will also be of great value for everyone concerned with the modern Middle East.”
Walter Armbrust, Director of the Middle East Centre, St. Antony's College, Oxford University

"The editor must be commended for giving the book a coherence. To some extend it reads as one long discussion of related debates. (…) The book makes an admirable attempt to collate work on Arab audiences, which is still in its infancy but, as several people in the field are beginning to realize, needs to be developed. (…) The breadth of topics and advanced conceptual interventions easily makes the book one of the best overviews of the field to date. (…) A powerful book. ”
Sune Haugbolle, University of Copenhagen,
in: Westminster Papers in Communication and Cultur

Media, public sphere and islamophobia

The perception of Islam in Germany

Muslims represent the largest religious minority in Germany. The vast majority are committed to the democratic constitutional state, maintain contacts with non-Muslims and represent basic liberal values. Nonetheless, the fear of Islam is widespread among the non-Muslim majority society. 61% find Islam to be inappropriate for the western world; 57% even feel threatened by it. This is the result of the study „Die Wahrnehmung des Islams in Deutschland“ [The Perception of Islam in Germany], which Prof. Dr. Kai Hafez and Sabrina Schmidt, M.A., published together with the Bertelsmann Foundation in January 2015.

The „Sonderauswertung Islam 2015“ [Special Evaluation Islam 2015] from the Foundation's "Religion Monitor" makes it clear: Islamophobia in Germany is not a phenomenon of political or social fringe groups, but extends far into the middle of society. Only a quarter of the non-Muslim majority in Germany see Islam as a social enrichment. On the other hand, the perception of threats is acceptable even among those who are politically moderate-conservative to left-wing oriented. Although the younger, the better educated and those who belong to the middle classes feel comparatively less threatened, the values for enrichment are also well below the 40% mark here.

The rejection values ​​are alarming precisely where there are relatively few everyday opportunities to meet Muslims, for example in rural areas and regions where the proportion of Muslim resident populations is low. The study was also able to show that respondents without contacts to Muslims in leisure time and at work are more likely to have a negative image of Islam than those with contacts. Personal experiences with Muslims and the resulting everyday knowledge of Islam can therefore be seen as important factors for improving social perception of Islam.

Stereotypes and images of the enemy about Islam and Muslims have been part of public discourse for centuries and, with slight shifts in content, are also continuously reproduced in the media. Especially for people without personal experience with Islam and Muslims, the topics, interpretations and images of the media are an essential source of information. The negative agenda of the topic of Islam, which has been confirmed many times in media content analyzes (see e.g. Hafez / Richter 2007: Das Islambild von ARD und ZDF [The image of Islam in German broadcasters ARD and ZDF]), can therefore be understood as a significant content-determining factor for fear projections and negative judgments of the population determined in this study.

The authors have presented and discussed the results of their study in various media, such as ZEIT ONLINE, ZDF, NDR and MDR.

More information on the religion monitor of the Bertelsmann Foundation and the study itself can be found at:

Comparison of political cultures Islam / West

Comparison of political cultures Islam / West

Heiliger Krieg und Demokratie. Radikalität und politischer Wandel im islamisch-westlichen Vergleich. (Transcript, Bielefeld)

English title
Radicalism and Political Reform in the Islamic and Western Worlds. (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge)

Over the last decade, political Islam has been denounced in the Western media and surrounding literature as a terrorist or fascist movement that is entirely at odds with Western democratic ideology. Kai Hafez's book overturns these arguments, contending that despite its excesses, as a radical form of political opposition the movement plays a central role in the processes of democratization and modernization and that these processes have direct parallels in the history and politics of the West. By analyzing the evolution of Christian democratization through the upheavals of the Reformation, colonization, fascism and totalitarianism, this book shows how radicalism and violence were constant accompaniments to political change and - despite assertions to the contrary - are still part of Western political culture. In this way, it draws hopeful conclusions about the potential for political, religious and cultural transformation in the Islamic world, which is already exemplified by the cases of Turkey, Indonesia and many parts of South Asia. The book marks an important development in the study of radical movements and their contribution to political change.

Reviews on "Radicalism and Political Reform in the Islamic and Western Worlds"

»It is no accident that Muslim cultures and peoples are under attack. In a series of superb aperçus and incisive analysis, Kai Hafez offers a massive corrective to this incessant, illiterate and racist white noise. (…) He is very versed in Islam, political theory and social science. Hafez lucidly critiques the fallacies of the Western discourse and Islam and Muslims. (…) His book is analytically excellent, a bravura intellectual performance.«
Shiraz Dossa, Arab Studies Quarterly, Dec. 2013

»This well-thought, well-written, well-argued book is a welcome addition to the debate on Islam, democracy and modernity. It aims at shattering stereo-types and well-ingrained ideas about the alleged militancy of Islamism or 'political Islam' and its anti-democratic character as well as its opposition to modernity. The remarkable ease and clarity with which Hafez writes render this book a joy to read.«
Joseph Alagha, International Affairs, 88/2 (2012)

»Hafez offers compelling arguments for changing the biased western opinion of the Arab world (…). According to Hafez, the question is not whether or not one believes in religious or secular ideals. Rather the question to ask is if these ideals are functional and conform to the construction of a new democratic world vision from within Islamic society.«
Ester Saletta, Journal of Contemporary European Studies, 19/1 (2011)

»The author does a remarkable job in navigating through the difficult terrain of issues like fundamentalism, radicalism and democratization. He is shedding light and rational insight where usually one finds only fanaticism and heated emotions. Reading the book is like a breath of fresh air.«
Dr. Katerina Dalacoura, London School of Economics

»This is a well-written, easy-to-read book which puts forwards an interesting and original argument on democracy and modernity in the Islamic world. The current work will be very welcome for its thought-provoking argument.«
Prof. Fred Dallmayr, Notre Dame University, USA

»Popular and, to a lesser degree, schol-arly discourse in Europe and the Americas is in need of the corrective that Kai Hafez provides on the com-parative merits of the Western and Is-lamic worlds. (…) This book offers a per-spective that challenges misconceptions and biases regarding Muslims, Islamic states, and Islam, by constructing and leveraging a temporally and geographical-ly broad comparison. It may be profitably read by Middle East and Islamic studies specialists.«
Scott Morrison, Journal of Islamic Studies, Oxford University Press, August (2013)

»The political scientist Kai Hafez from Erfurt, who can be counted among the best experts in the Orient, does not regard the slipping of the Islamic world into an age of religiously motivated violence as inevitable. (...) Restrained and argumentatively convincing, Hafez corrects many clichés about the Islamic world, which has only started into globalization at a slower pace. «
Das Parlament

»Despite the constant flare-up of jihad radicalism, Hafez is optimistic that political change is possible in the Islamic world. In his in-depth study, Hafez is swimming against the current - an enlightening, enjoyable book. «
Rheinischer Merkur

»In his exciting book, Erfurt communication scientist Kai Hafez provides an essential impulse that wants to bring western modernity together with the Islamic world. There is hope that, despite the real risks posed by dictatorships, wars, terror and anti-Semitism, political Islam - in all its facets to fundamentalism - may and may well be the way for a political inclusion of the Islamic world in a largely consensual project pave the way for modernity. «
Wiener Zeitung

»For a somewhat more precise picture of Islam, it is worth reading [...] the book by the former fellow of the Orient Institute Kai Hafez. Because it gives [...] a differentiated analysis of what is behind the keyword Islam. «
Westdeutsche Zeitung

»He was one of the first German scientists to draw scientific parallels to the western development of modernity and democracy. His conclusion: The current political change is quite comparable and could very well lead to its own democracy in these countries in the long run.«
Volker Stahr, Faust (culture magazine)

»This volume is in pleasing opposition to the usual theses and assumptions in our mass media: The comparison that has so far been refused with the political history of the West, which is also not contradictory, shows not only surprising parallels, but also the deep ambivalence of dangers - but also opportunities - that political Islam carries. "
Oliver Neumann,

»Hafez does not want to agree with the current forecast that the Islamic world is facing a period of unleashed religious wars [...]; rather, he wants to make it clear with his analysis that the slipping of the Islamic world into an age of religiously motivated violence is by no means inevitable. In this respect, he sees it as his task to bring about an intellectual sensitization by comparing the political developments of the world regions. An undertaking that is necessary and sensible, despite or precisely because of the currently rather pessimistic attitudes. «
Dr. Jos Schnurer,

"A clever book."
DAVO News (German Association of the Middle East)

»Kai Hafez has written an instructive book that, despite the access of an Islamic-Western comparison, does not fall into the trap of creating a dichotomy and falling into Eurocentric discourses. Despite the complex topic, the volume is clearly written. «
Sebastian Kalicha, graswurzel revolution

»Kai Hafez's book, which was written before the 'Arab Spring', is incredibly up-to-date and forward-looking. Actually, everything is said that is currently happening on the street in Egypt. «
Stefan Weidner, Goethe Institute

Islam and Islamophobia in Germany / Europe

Islam and Islamophobia in Germany / Europe

Freiheit, Gleichheit und Intoleranz. Der Islam in der liberalen Gesellschaft Deutschlands und Europas, Bielefeld: Transcript, 2013

Islam in "Liberal" Europe. Freedom, Equality, and Intolerance, Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield 2014

Dealing with Islam is the fundamental test for the liberal constitution of Western societies. Kai Hafez takes the first comprehensive inventory of equality, integration and recognition of Islam in Germany and Europe. His nuanced view shows that while political systems are slowly adjusting to the presence of Muslims, "liberal society" often lags far behind. The "Sarrazin debate" and racist killings are just the tip of many Europeans' inability to integrate globalization into their lives. In order to support democracy, it takes no less than a reinvention of "liberal society". Not only politicians and citizens, but also the institutions of the media, science, schools and churches have to completely renew themselves.

"An excellent book."
Farid Hafez, Visiting Scholar, Columbia University, Middle East Institute

»A book worth reading.«
André Ritter, Theologische Literaturzeitung, 139 (2014) 3

"A very exciting book."
Thilo Scholle, spw-Zeitung für sozialistische Politik und Wirtschaft, (2015) 3

»Hafez’s careful comparisons of the legal, political, cultural, and intellectual challenges flowing from these demographic changes show just how unsettled these issues are. His in-depth analyses of France, Germany, and the UK, in particular, show surprising variations both in public attitudes and legal approaches to mosque/state issues. Blatant prejudice against Muslims, Hafez (Univ. of Erfurt, Germany) shows, is characteristic not just of some of the more virulent rightist parties but is also found in the mainstream media, in centrist politics, and in academia. [The author’s] case for a reexamination of the true nature of multicultural liberalism, secularism, and religious tolerance is timely and on point.  This is an important book, raising important questions about challenging issues. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduate, graduate, and research collections.«
E.V. Schneier, City College of the City University of New York, Choice Reviews

"The presentation of Hafez illuminates the high complexity and ambivalences of the topic. The book is a concisely written, literature-saturated presentation that processes a variety of theoretical approaches and empirical studies in the sense of a large-scale research report. And Hafez has a message: Europe has to renew itself and its institutions, as the treatment of Islam shows. The recognition of religious minorities is an essential part of a fundamental political and social emancipation of European societies."
Frauke Klinge, Junge Welt, 9.9.2013 (auch in: Contraste 9/2013)

»Compact information and a wealth of sources make the book an enlightening read that offers analytical depth and passion.«
Serdar Günes, Deutschland Radio Kultur, 11.8.2013

»The book formulates a few unpleasant truths (...) An extraordinarily fact-rich, comprehensive, scientific monograph.«
Reiner Scholz, SWR2, 23.8.2013

»A profitable read that is very well suited as an overview and basis for discussion on the subject of Islam in Europe.«
Jan Achim Richter, PW-Portal für Politikwissenschaft,, 6 (2013)

»Islam integration is a key challenge for liberal democracy in the European immigration countries. Kai Hafez's book provides a theoretical and systematic foundation for the discussion of this key question. «
Prof. Dr. Klaus J. Bade, Migrationsforscher, Publizist, Politikberater

»[Hafez offers] a reasoned argument that is well supported by facts.
Anyone who takes a little more time will be rewarded with theoretical considerations on the immigration society that go far beyond popular scientific criticism of criticism of Islam. «
Luisa Seeling, Internationale Politik, 5/6 (2013)

»Kai Hafez gets to the bottom of the burning social issues of our time.«
Wolfgang Taus, Wiener Zeitung, 16.04.2013

»Kai Hafez's book contains interesting insights, it should be taken into account.«
Ismail Kul, Zaman Online, March 19, 2013

"All in all, Hafez impresses with his extensive knowledge of the European social science landscape and his ability to draw from it consistently profitable knowledge with regard to the future coexistence of Muslims and non-Muslims in free and democratically constituted Germany and Europe."
Mohammed Khallouk,, September 16, 2013

»[Hafez 'discussion of a] large number of the quite controversial scientific findings of the research work carried out in Central, Northern and Western Europe and their focus on 'German conditions' represent an important marker. Social science research as well as social arguments will benefit from this.«
Jos Schnurer,, March 14, 2013

"With this work, Kai Hafez [...] provides a complex inventory and analysis as well as an evaluation of the current research results, backed up with philosophical ideas, with political science theories and sociological research results."
Medienspiegel Deutsch-Maghrebinische Gesellschaft, 3 (2013)

»Communication scientist Kai Hafez from Erfurt has compiled and evaluated several hundred scientific publications on equality, integration and recognition of Islam in Germany and Europe. This has resulted in a summary overview. It is aimed at all those who, in his view, are trying to downplay the dimensions of Islamophobia in European society. «
Thorsten G. Schneiders, Deutschlandfunk, June 28, 2013

»In his book, media scientist Kai Hafez demands that all areas of society have to reorient themselves: politics, science, schools, churches, and the media. The Participating Media Monitoring Initiative [Initiative Teilnehmende Medienbeobachtung] can only agree with this finding. «

Ingrid Thurner, Südwind: Magazin für internationale Politik, Kultur und Entwicklung, Oktober 2013

Media and Transformation in Southeast Asia

2015 - 2017: Media Systems and Communication Cultures in Germany and Indonesia. Structures, Dynamics and Actors of Public and Private Communication in Transformation Processes. 

Cooperation Project funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in the Program Higher Education Dialogue with the Muslim World