Dr. Girma Parris is a DAAD/AICGS Research Fellow in July and August, 2015, working on a project entitled “A Comparative, Historical Study of Policy Trajectories in US Bilingual Education and Islamic Religious Instruction in Germany.” Building on findings that argue that prospects for immigrant political incorporation are dependent on policymaking structures and the political history particular to issue areas, the study compares the influence of anti-immigrant populism on the policy process in the respective national and local settings. The study’s findings indicate that anti-immigrant populism has greater influence on the policy process in the American policymaking setting due to the political history surrounding bilingual education and the institutional characteristics of the American policymaking system.
In December 2014, Dr. Parris completed his dissertation, “Why the Turks Have it Better: A Comparative, Historical Analysis of U.S. Bilingual Education and Islamic Religious Instruction in Germany, 1965-2010,” in the Department of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University. His research focuses on race, ethnic relations, education, and comparative immigrant integration. Dr. Parris’ dissertation looks at two issues in education policy through a focus on explaining their respective policy trajectories since the 1960s. The study treats Islamic religious instruction in Germany and US bilingual education as comparable issues of political incorporation and as issue areas central to the respective national debates over national cultural identity. The dissertation investigates how the history, politics, and institutional structures of the U.S. and Germany affect the respective prospects for immigrant integration of the main immigrant target groups of these policies—immigrants of Mexican origin in the U.S. and those of Turkish descent in Germany.
Dr. Parris’ teaching experience includes stints in 2006, 2007, and 2009 as a Visiting Lecturer (DAAD/ Baden Wuerttemberg Scholarship holder) in the Department of Political Science at the University of Mannheim (Mannheim, Germany). From 2009-2014, he served as a lecturer in the American Studies department at the University of Mannheim where he taught classes on race, immigration, and American politics. Starting in September of 2015, Dr. Parris will join the faculty of the Department of Political Science at the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the University at Albany (State University New York) as a Visiting Assistant Professor.
Made possible by the support of German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) with funds from the German Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt - AA)