Veil Bans in Western Europe: Interpreting Policy Diffusion examines the diffusion of Muslim veil-ban laws in four Western European countries within the last decade; France, Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands. Nationwide bans on full-face Muslim veiling are rooted in several systemic, normative, and political accounts and advocated by contrasting political ideologies. Methodologically, this paper employs an integrative perspective to explain the process of diffusion in some countries but not in others, by exploring both external and internal factors that led to policy innovation. Overall, full-face Muslim veil bans in Western Europe have been intended to accelerate cultural integration of minorities to European values and traditions, but have been challenged by Muslim minorities in the region and their rights of expression and religion.


On page 25, the information on the outcome of the Muslim veil-ban bill in the Netherlands was incorrect. Even though the bill was sponsored by a center-right coalition government in 2012, the government collapsed in 2013 and was replaced by a center-left government. The new government coalition shelved the bill (BBC, July 1st 2014).

Author Biography

Adriana Piatti-Crocker is Associate Professor at the University of Illinois, Springfield and is a comparative politics scholar on Latin America and gender and politics. Piatti-Crocker edited a book on diffusion of gender quotas in Latin America (Peter Lang, 2011) and co-edited two books on Same-Sex Marriage in the Americas (Lexington, 2010 and 2012). She has published several articles and case-studies on gender quotas in Argentina, Latin America, and Afghanistan, and more recently has published an article and a case-study on veil bans in Turkey.

Laman Tasch-Rzayeva is an instructor at Columbia College (Chicago, IL). She grew up in the Soviet Union, received her master’s degree in sociology from the Middle East Technical University (Ankara, Turkey) and doctoral degree in political science from Northern Illinois University (DeKalb, IL). She published several articles about conditions of ethnic and religious minorities in Russia and Turkey and rights of women in post-conflict societies. Currently she is working on the issues of minority women in Western Europe.