THE TREND AND THE PREDICAMENT
The idea for this handbook evolved gradually in the wake of a joint research project to which six of the authors also contributed. As observers of a phenomenon that was spreading across several parts of the world, namely, the trend to ban Islamic full-face veils, Erik Daniel Baldwin, Willie Mack, Anja Matwijkiw, Bronik Matwijkiw, Ryan Long, and Anna Oriolo began to ask a series of probing questions that, in turn, led them to the discovery that the phenomenon was under-researched. Since two members of the team (Anja Matwijkiw and Bronik Matwijkiw) already had a manuscript on the so-called “burqa ban” in Denmark accepted for publication (The 2018 Danish ‘Burqa Ban’ : Joining a European Trend and Sending a National Message, 15 INTERNATIONAL STUDIES JOURNAL 55 (2018)), the attempt to use this as a platform for further examination and commentary, a sort of launchpad for a broader response, suggested itself. Together, the six researchers went on to co-author the article The Burqa Ban: Legal Precursors for Denmark, American Experiences and Experiments, and Philosophical and Critical Examinations (15 INTERNATIONAL STUDIES JOURNAL 157 (2018)). This successful effort inspired the next step – to write a book.
The above-mentioned scholarly outcomes, which were published separately but consecutively in the same issue of the relevant journal (INTERNATIONAL STUDIES JOURNAL), sparked enough interest to convince the team that their research had to be considered a crucial stepping stone. Therefore, Anja Matwijkiw obtained the Editor-in-Chief Mehdi Zakerian's permission to allow individual authors of individual sections of the response article to the Danish case (The Burqa Ban: Legal Precursors for Denmark, American Experiences and Experiments, and Philosophical and Critical Examinations) to incorporate materials from their previous findings and studies for the specific purpose of writing their chapters for the book project. Over the next year, the project matured and developed to the extent that the overarching goal of conducting interdisciplinary research on the burqa ban trend found expression in the book title itself: LAW, CULTURAL STUDIES AND THE “BURQA BAN’ TREND.