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Joel S. Fetzer Faculty Profile

Joel S. Fetzer

Distinguished Professor of Political Science
Social Science Division, Seaver College
AC 223


Joel S. Fetzer, Professor of Political Science, received his bachelor's in English and Government from Cornell University in 1988 and his doctorate in Political Science from Yale University in 1996. Following postdoctoral studies in International Relations at the University of Southern California, he was Assistant Professor of Political Science at Central Michigan University for two and a half years before moving to Pepperdine University in 2001. Fetzer's research interests and publications are in the fields of international migration, ethnic relations, religion and politics, and indigenous rights in the regions of Western Europe, North America, and East Asia. He is the author or coauthor of seven books: Selective Prosecution of Religiously Motivated Offenders in America (Edwin Mellen Press, 1989); Public Attitudes toward Immigration in the United States, France, and Germany (Cambridge University Press, 2000); Muslims and the State in Britain, France, and Germany (with J. Christopher Soper, Cambridge University Press, 2005); Luxembourg as an Immigration Success Story: The Grand Duchy in Pan-European Perspective (Lexington Books, 2011); Confucianism, Democratization, and Human Rights in Taiwan (with J. Christopher Soper, Lexington Books, 2012); Open Borders and International Migration Policy: The Effects of Unrestricted Immigration in the United States, France, and Ireland (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015); and Religion and Nationalism in Global Perspective (with J. Christopher Soper, Cambridge University Press, 2018). He has also published numerous journal articles and book chapters on related topics. Professor Fetzer teaches Immigration Politics and Ethnic Relations, Comparative European Politics, Public Opinion and Voting, East Asian Politics, Modern Asian Political Philosophy, Government and Politics of Developing Areas, State and Local Governments, and Indigenous Peoples of North America. In his free time, Joel enjoys biking, ice skating, learning foreign languages, and collecting, restoring, and using antique film cameras. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and son.


  • PhD, Yale University
  • M.Phil, Yale University
  • MA, Yale University
  • AB, Cornell University




  • 2022. “International Migration into Québec, 1991-2016: How Much Can the Québec Government Control?” (with Maggie Wood). Canadian Ethnic Studies/Études ethniques au Canada 54(1):59-80.

  • 2020. “Church and State in Post-Handover Hong Kong” (with J. Christopher Soper). Taiwan Journal of Democracy 16(2):75-99.

  • 2019. “Support for Democracy and Willingness to Emigrate from Hong Kong" (research note; with Brandon Alexander Millan). Taiwan Journal of  Democracy 15(2):195-212.

  • 2018. “Realistic Group Conflict and Voting for the 2002 Aboriginal Treaty Negotiations Referendum in British Columbia” (research note). Canadian Ethnic Studies/Études ethniques au Canada 50(1):141-153.
  • 2018. "Church and State in Japanese-Occupied Hong Kong" (with J. Christopher Soper).  American Journal of Chinese Studies 32:301-313.
  • 2017. “Opposition to Irish Travellers’ Halting Sites in the Republic of Ireland: Realistic Group Conflict or Symbolic Politics?” Irish Journal of  Sociology 25(2):195-206.
  • 2016. “The Politics of British Columbia’s 2002 Aboriginal Treaty Negotiations Referendum: Democratic Governance or Electoral Strategy?” (research note). Canadian Ethnic Studies/Études ethniques au Canada 48(2):157-166.
  • 2015. “Early Chinese-American Society as Portrayed in Chinese Letters of the Ah Louis Family of San Luis Obispo, California, USA.” Journal of Chinese Overseas 11:199-215.
  • 2015. “The Causes of Emigration from Singapore: How Much is Still Political?” (with Brandon Alexander Millan). Critical Asian Studies 47(3):462-476.
  • 2014. "Church and State in Spanish Formosa” (with J. Christopher Soper). Review of Religion and Chinese Society 1(2):236-248.
  • 2011. "The Determinants of Public Attitudes Toward the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Taiwan" (with J. Christopher Soper). Taiwan Journal of Democracy 7(1):95-114.
  • 2011. "The Evolution of Public Attitudes toward Immigration in Europe and the United States, 2000-2010." Report to the European Commission as part of the Directorate-General for External Relations' project "Improving EU and US Immigration Systems' Capacity for Responding to Global Challenges: Learning from Experiences."
  • 2010. "The Causes of Pro-Immigration Voting in the United States Supreme Court" (with Melissa G. Ocepek). International Migration Review 44(3):659-696.
  • 2010. "Confucian Values and Elite Support for Liberal Democracy in Taiwan: The Perils of Priestly Religion" (with J. Christopher Soper). Politics and Religion 3(3).
  • 2010. "The Not So Naked Public Square:  Islam and the State in Western Europe" (with J. Christopher Soper).  Orient [Berlin] 2010(2):6-14.
  • 2010. "Location Decisions of Abortion Clinics and Crisis Pregnancy Centers in California" (with Andrew Yuengert). Catholic Social Science Review 15:211-235.
  • 2008. "Public Support for the 1990 Student Democracy Movement and Emigration from Taiwan: Exit and Voice or Exit or Voice?" (with Brandon Alexander Millan). American Journal of Chinese Studies 15(2):501-511.
  • 2008. "Election Strategy and Ethnic Politics in Singapore." Taiwan Journal of Democracy 4(1):135-153.
  • 2007. "The Effect of Confucian Values on Support for Democracy and Human Rights in Taiwan" (research note; with J. Christopher Soper). Taiwan Journal of Democracy 3(1):143-154.
  • 2007. "Religious Institutions, Church-State History, and Muslim Mobilization in Britain, France, and Germany" (with J. Christopher Soper).  Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 33(6):933-944.
  • 2006. "Why Did House Members Vote for H.R. 4437?" (research note). International Migration Review 40(3):698-706.
  • 2006. "Practicing their faith:  Muslims and the State in Britain and France" (with J. Christopher Soper).  Public Policy Research [London] 12(4):234-237.
  • 2005.  "Public Opinion and Immigration." In Matthew J. Gibney and Randall Hansen, eds.  Immigration and Asylum: From 1900 to the Present. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO.
  • 2004.  "Looking to the Past for Clues to Current Immigration Concerns." Public Affairs Report [Institute of Governmental Studies, University of California at Berkeley] 45(1):1 & 10-14.
  • 2003. "The Roots of Public Attitudes Toward State Accommodation of European Muslims’ Religious Practices Before and After September 11" (with J. Christopher Soper).  Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 42(2):247-258.
  • 2003.  "Explaining the Accommodation of Muslim Religious Practices in France, Britain, and Germany" (with J. Christopher Soper). French Politics 1(1):39-59.
  • 2000. "Economic self-interest or cultural marginality? Anti-immigration sentiment and nativist political movements in France, Germany and the USA." Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 26(1):5-23.

Book Chapters:

  • Forthcoming. “Religion and the State in Germany and Slovakia: Convergence and Divergence of a Western versus Central European Case” (with J. Christopher Soper). In Shannon Holzer, ed. Routledge Handbook of Church and State. New York: Routledge.
  • 2019. “The Long Journey toward Establishing Muslim Organizations in Germany: A Comparison with other European Countries.” Pp. 19-22 in Tagesband der Fachkonferenz „Mittendrin und nicht dabei? Perspektiven auf die Partizipation islamischer Interessensorganisationen.“ Berlin:  Allianz gegen Islam- und Muslimfeindlichkeit (CLAIM).

  • 2013.  “Democratization, Human Rights, and Religion-State Relations in Taiwan and Hong Kong” (with J. Christopher Soper).  Pp. 157-185 in Mehran  Tamadonfar and Ted G. Jelen, eds. Religion and Regimes: Support,  Separation, and Opposition. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books/Rowman &  Littlefield Publishing Group.

  • 2012. “Public Opinion and Populism.”  Pp. 301-323 in Marc R. Rosenblum and Daniel J. Tichenor, eds. Oxford Handbook of the Politics of International Migration.  New York and Oxford:  Oxford University Press.
  • 2012. “The Paradox of Immigration Attitudes in Luxembourg: A Pan-European Comparison.” Pp. 78-92 in Gary P. Freeman, Randall Hansen, and David L. Leal, eds. Immigration and Public Opinion in Liberal Democracies. London: Routledge.
  • 2012. “An Ecological Analysis of the 2009 Swiss Referendum on the Building of Minarets” (with J. Christopher Soper).  Pp. 101-111 in Marc Helbling, ed. Islamophobia in the West: Measuring and Explaining Individual Attitudes. London: Routledge.
  • 2009. “The Practice of their Faith:  Muslims and the State in Britain, France, and Germany” (with J. Christopher Soper).  Pp. 35-49 in Abdulkader Sinno, ed. Muslims in Western Politics. Bloomington:  Indiana University Press.
  • 2008. “The Roots of Public Attitudes Toward State Accommodation of European Muslims’ Religious Practices Before and After September 11” (with J. Christopher Soper).  Pp. 160-176 in Bryan S. Rennie and Phillip L. Tite, eds. Religion, Terror and Violence: Religious Studies Perspectives.  London:  Routledge.
  • 2006. “Religija i politika u sekularnoj Evropi [Religion and Politics in Secular Europe]” (with J. Christopher Soper).  Pp. 75-99 in Ivan Cvitković and Dino Abazović, eds. Religija i europske integracije [Religion and European Integration]. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Hercegovina:  Magistrat.
  • 2006. "Religión y política en una Europa laica: caminando a contracorriente" (with J. Christopher Soper). Pp. 219-250 in Ted Gerard Jelen and Clyde Wilcox, eds. Religión y política: una perspectiva comparada. Álvaro Ramón Arizaga Castro, trans. Madrid: Akal.
  • 2006. "California:  Ménage à Trois:  The Christian Right, the Republican Party, and Arnold Schwarzenegger." (with J. Christopher Soper).  Pp. 216-237 in John C. Green, Mark J. Rozell, and Clyde Wilcox, eds.  The Values Campaign?:  The Christian Right and the 2004  Elections. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.
  • 2006. “Economic Research in the Abortion Decision:  A Literature Review and a New Direction” (with Andrew Yuengert).  Pp. 421-437 in Joseph W. Koterski, ed.  Life and Learning XV: Proceedings of the Fifteenth University Faculty for Life Conference at Ave Maria Law School, 2005. Washington:  University Faculty for Life/Georgetown University.
  • 2003. "The Christian Right in California:  Dimming Fortunes in the Golden State" (with J. Christopher Soper).  Pp. 209-230 in John C. Green, Mark J. Rozell, and William Clyde Wilcox, eds.  The Christian Right in American Politics: Marching to the Millennium. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.
  • 2002. "Religion and Politics in a Secular Europe: Cutting Against the Grain" (with J. Christopher Soper). Pp. 167-191 in Ted Gerard Jelen and Clyde Wilcox, eds. Religion and Politics in Comparative Perspective: The One, the Few, and the Many. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • 2001. "Dr. Ron Sider: Mennonite Environmentalist on the Evangelical Left" (with Gretchen S. Carnes). Pp. 159-174 in Jo Renee Formicola and Hubert Morken, eds. Religious Leaders and Faith-Based Politics: Ten Profiles. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
  • 2001. "Shaping Pacifism: The Role of the Local Anabaptist Pastor." Pp. 177-187 in Sue E.S. Crawford and Laura R. Olson, eds. Christian Clergy in American Politics. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • 2000. "The Christian Right and the Republican Party in California: Necessarily Yoked" (with J. Christopher Soper). Pp. 93-113 in John C. Green, Mark J. Rozell, and Clyde Wilcox, eds. Prayers in the Precincts: The Christian Right in the 1998 Elections. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.
  • 1997. "California: Between a Rock and a Hard Place" (with J. Christopher Soper). In Mark J. Rozell and Clyde Wilcox, eds. God at the Grassroots, 1996: The Christian Right in the American Elections. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Book Reviews:

  • 2015. "Constructing Muslims in France: Discourse, Public Identity, and the Politics of Citizenship, by Jennifer Fredette." Mashriq & Mahjar: Journal of Middle East Migration Studies 3(1):96-98.
  • 2014. "One Family Under God: Immigration Politics and Progressive Religion in America, by Grace Yukich." Sociology of Religion 75(3):489-490.
  • 2014. "Fireproof Moth: A Missionary in Taiwan’s White Terror, by Milo L. Thornberry." Politics and Religion 7(1):227-229.
  • 2012. "States Against Migrants:  Deportation in Germany and the United States, by Antje Ellermann." Perspectives on Politics 10(2):515-517. 
  • 2012. "Religious Newcomers and the Nation State: Political Culture and Organized Religion in France and the Netherlands, by Erik Sengers and Thijl Sunier." Journal of Church & State 54(2). 
  • 2011. "New Guests of the Irish Nation, by Bryan Fanning." Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 37(10):1697-1698.
  • 2007. "The Transnational History of a Chinese Family:  Immigrant Letters, Family Business, and Reverse Migration, by Haiming Liu." American Journal of Chinese Studies 14(1):99-101.
  • 2001. "Christian America? What Evangelicals Really Want, by Christian Smith." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 40(2):331.
  • 1998. "Xenophobia in United Germany: Generations, Modernization, and Ideology, by Meredith W. Watts." International Migration Review 32:507.
  • 1995. "The Analysis of Religious Assortative Marriage: An Application of Design Techniques for Categorical Models, by John Hendrickx." Review of Religious Research 37(2):177-178.

Other Publications: 

  • 2015. "Immigration, Segregation, and Religious Freedom in Europe.”  Cornerstone: A Conversation on Religious Freedom and Its Social Implications [published by Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs], June 9, http://berkleycenter. georgetown.edu/cornerstone/the-eu-immigration-crisis-and-its-relationship-to-religious-freedom/responses/immigration-segregation-and-religious-freedom-in-europe.
  • 2014. "Confucianism, Democratization, and Human Rights in Taiwan” (with J. Christopher Soper).  Georgetown Journal of International Affairs Online, March 24, http://journal.georgetown.edu/2014/03/24/ confucianism-democratization-and-human-rights-in-taiwan-by-drs-joel-s-fetzer-and-j-christopher-soper/.
  • 2013. "In Memoriam: David Halloran Lumsdaine” (with Timothy R.A. Sherratt).  PS: Political Science & Politics 26(4):852-853.
  • 2007.  "Religious Freedom for European Muslims:  New immigration poses cultural challenges for Britain and France" (with J. Christopher Soper).  Insights on Law and Society:  A magazine for teachers of civics, government, history & law [published by American Bar Association’s Division for Public Education] 7(3/Spring):7-9.
  • National Screening Committee (Taiwan), Fulbright U.S. Student Program, 2022-2024
  • Scholarship for Summer School of Slovak Language and Culture (Studia Academica Slovaca) at Univerzita Komenského v Bratislave, Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic, 2021 
  • Taiwan Fellowship, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China (Taiwan), (declined), 2016 & 2021
  • Research Grant for Foreign Scholars in Chinese Studies, Center for Chinese Studies, Taipei, Taiwan (declined), 2021
  • Selection Committee, Susanne Hoeber Rudolph Outstanding Scholar Award, Religion and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association, 2021
  • Distinguished Book Award (with J. Christopher Soper), Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, 2020
  • Scholarship for Summer Study of Slovak Language & Culture, Slovak-American Cultural Center/Slovensko-Americké Kultúrne Stredisko, 2020
  • Slovak Scholarship, Summer Language Institute, University of Pittsburgh, 2020
  • Coordinator, Department of Political Science, Pepperdine University, 2019-2022
  • External Reviewer, Agence nationale de la recherche (France), 2019
  • Taiwan Studies Paper Award, American Association for Chinese Studies/Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, 2018
  • Director, Survey Research Minor, Pepperdine University, 2018-present
  • Board of Directors, American Association for Chinese Studies, 2018-present
  • Program Committee, annual meeting of the American Association for Chinese Studies, 2018
  • External reviewer, application for tenure and promotion, Department of Political Science, McMaster University, 2017
  • External reviewer, application for promotion, Department of Sociology, University of Texas at Arlington, 2016
  • Local host, annual meeting of the Taiwan Benevolent Association of America, 2016
  • Local Arrangements Chair, annual meeting of the American Association for Chinese Studies, 2016
  • Research Fellowship, Centre interdisciplinaire de recherche sur la citoyenneté et les minorités (CIRCEM), Université d’Ottawa, 2015
  • Biography published, Contemporary Authors, 2015
  • Nomination to serve on Council, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (declined), 2015
  • Nomination for Paul J. Weber Paper Award (with J. Christopher Soper), Religion and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association, 2015
  • External reviewer, Fondation Maison des sciences de l'homme (Paris), 2014
  • Selection Committee, Best Article Award, Migration and Citizenship Section  of the American Political Science Association, 2014
  • Editorial Board, Politics and Religion, 2012-2016
  • External reviewer, Fulbright Commission, Czech Republic, 2011
  • External reviewer, Swiss National Science Foundation, 2010
  • Early promotion to full professor, Pepperdine University, 2010
  • External reviewer, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, 2008
  • External reviewer, application for tenure and promotion, Division of International Politics and Foreign Policy, School of International Service, American University, 2008
  • Program Organizer, Religion and Politics Section of American Political Science Association, 2008
  • Research Fellowship, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History/Columbia University Library, 2006
  • Executive Board, Religion and Politics Section of American Political Science Association, 1999-2001
  • Research Award, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, 2001
  • Small Research Grant, American Political Science Association, 2001
  • Research Fellowship, German Marshall Fund of the United States, 2001
  • Provost's Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Endeavors, Central Michigan University, 2000
  • Peace Scholar Fellowship, United States Institute of Peace, 1995-1996
  • Ebert Dissertation Fellowship, Friedrich Ebert Foundation (Bonn, Germany), 1994
  • 2015. "Presidents, Premiers, ministres et politique d'immigration aux Etats-Unis et au Canada," Centre interdisciplinaire de recherche sur la citoyennete et les minorites (CIRCEM), Universite d'Ottawa, Canada.
  • 2012. "Luxembourg as an Immigration Success Story," Embassy of Luxembourg in Washington/Migration Policy Institute.
  • 2010. "Immigration, Ethnicity, and Religion in Europe," Yale University's European Studies Council/MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies.
  • 2010. "Human Rights and the Place of Aborigines/Yuanzhumin in Taiwanese Society," University of California at Berkeley's Institute of East Asian Studies.
  • 2009. "How Do National Institutions Promote or Hinder Muslims' Integration in Europe?" Princeton University's Institute for International and Regional Studies.
  • 2009. "An Annotated Translation of Chinese Letters from the Howard Louis Collection of San Luis Obispo, California," San Luis Obispo County Historical Society.
  • 2006. "Muslims and the State in Britain, France and Germany" (with J. Christopher Soper), Harvard University's Center for European Studies.


  • International Migration
  • Ethnic Relations
  • Religion and Politics
  • Public Opinion


  • (Posc/Soc 455) Immigration Politics and Ethnic Relations
  • (Posc 353) Comparative European Politics
  • (Posc/Soc 460) Public Opinion and Voting
  • (Posc/Ints 456) East Asian Politics
  • (Posc 461/Ints 419) Modern Asian Political Philosophy
  • (Posc 458) Government and Politics of Developing Areas
  • (Posc 420) State and Local Governments
  • (Posc/Soc 435) Indigenous Peoples of North America