Political Approaches to Tackling Islamophobia: An ‘Insider/Outsider’ Analysis of the British Coalition Government’s Approach between 2010–15

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Soon after the Conservative-led Coalition government came to power in 2010, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi announced that Islamophobia had passed the ‘dinner-table test’ in contemporary Britain. Resultantly, the need to address Islamophobia was identified as a priority for the Coalition. This article critically analyses how the Coalition sought to achieve this and the extent to which it was successful. Focusing on the period 2010–15, this article initially frames what is meant by Islamophobia, before briefly setting out how it had been responded to by previous British governments. Regarding the Coalition, a threefold approach is adopted that considers the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Islamophobia, the Cross-Government Working Group on Anti-Muslim Hate, and the political discourses used by the Coalition about Muslims and Islam more generally. Concluding that the Coalition failed to meet the high expectations set by Warsi’s speech, this article considers why this might have been so.


Original languageEnglish
Article number77
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalSocial Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2017


  • minority communities, Islamophobia, British politics, Coalition Government, Conservative Party, discrimination, Muslims