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February 17, 2011

David Laitin to Discuss Discrimination Against Muslims in France, March 3

David Laitin, a political science professor who has examined the causes of religious discrimination in France, will discuss the rationales that sustain discrimination against Muslims in the French labor market.

Laitin will present "‘One Muslim is Enough!’—Evidence from a Field Experiment in France" at the Library of Congress at 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 3, in Room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.

Laitin holds the Chair in Countries and Cultures of the North in the John W. Kluge Center at the Library, where he is analyzing data he has collected over the past several years on the social and economic integration of Muslims into contemporary France. His Library of Congress appointment runs through March 2011. Laitin is the James T. Watkins IV and Elise V. Watkins Professor of Political Science in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University.

Along with Claire L. Adida, from the University of California at San Diego, and Marie-Anne Valfort, from the Sorbonne in Paris, Laitin has examined the causes of religious discrimination in France, especially by French Christians against Muslims. In his lecture, Laitin will discuss the mechanisms that sustain the discrimination. Laitin will discuss why he and his co-researchers conclude that while this discrimination flows through a non-rational channel, it is in fact rational for employers to condition their employment decision on this convention and thereby to discriminate against Muslims in the French labor market.

Laitin has published extensively on ethnic cooperation and conflict, religion-based discrimination and the organizational sources of suicide terrorism. He is the author of numerous articles and six books, including "Nations, States and Violence" (2007), "Identity in Formation: the Russian-speaking Populations in the Near Abroad" (1998) and "Language Repertoires and State Construction in Africa" (1992).

A graduate of Swarthmore College, Laitin earned his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board at Sciences Po Paris (the Paris Institute of Political Science). He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1995 and to the National Academy of Sciences in 2007.

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate and energize one another to distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For further information on the Kluge Center, visit

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds nearly 145 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may also be accessed via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at

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PR 11-036
ISSN 0731-3527

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