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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.


  • AB, Cornell University, 1988
  • PhD, Yale University, 1996
  • 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