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The EU Enlargement and Gay Politics

The Impact of Eastern Enlargement on Rights, Activism and Prejudice

edited by: Koen Slootmaeckers, Heleen Touquet, Peter Vermeersch
published by: Palgrave Macmillan UK
pp: 238
ISBN: 978-1-137-48092-7

Book's frontpage

This book offers a well-investigated and accessible picture of the current situation around the politics of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) rights and activism in Central Europe and the Western Balkans in the context of the enlargement of the European Union (EU). It provides not only thoughtful reflections on the topic but also a wealth of new empirical findings — arising from legal and policy analysis, large-scale sociological investigations and country case studies. Theoretical concepts come from institutional analysis, the study of social movements, law, and Europeanization literature. The authors discuss emerging Europe-wide activism for LGBT rights and analyze issues such as the tendency of nationalist movements to turn ‘sexual others’ into ‘national others,’ the actions and rhetoric of church actors as powerful counter-mobilizers against LGBT rights, and the role of the domestic state on the receiving end of EU pressure in the field of fundamental rights.


Table of contents

Introduction: EU Enlargement and LGBT Rights—Beyond Symbolism?
The Co-evolution of EU’s Eastern Enlargement and LGBT Politics: An Ever Gayer Union?
European Integration and LGBTI Activism: Partners in Realising Change?
Federalizing Legal Opportunities for LGBT Movements in the Growing EU
Nationalism and Homophobia in Central and Eastern Europe
From Pride to Politics: Niche-Party Politics and LGBT Rights in Poland
Same-Sex Partnership Debate in Slovenia: Between Declarative Support and Lack of Political Will
The Struggle for Visibility and Equality: Bosnian LGBT Rights
Whose Pride? LGBT ‘Community’ and the Organization of Pride Parades in Serbia
The Curious Case of Macedonia: A Personal Insight of a Former Head of the EU Delegation in Macedonia

About Editors

Koen Slootmaeckers is a researcher at the School of Politics and International Relations Queen Mary University of London, UK, and Free Research Associate at LINES (Leuven International and European Studies) at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Belgium.

Heleen Touquet is Part-Time Professor of International Relations at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Belgium. Her work on social movements and mobilisation in the Western Balkans has been published in, among others, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, Europa-Asia Studies, and Nationalities Papers.

Peter Vermeersch is Professor of Politics at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Belgium, where he is Research Co-ordinator at LINES (Leuven International and European Studies). Previously, he published among others The Romani Movement: Minority Politics and Ethnic Mobilization in Contemporary Central Europe (2006).


“This volume offers an encompassing assessment of LBGT rights advocacy, identity politics and backlash in the context of the EU enlargement in Central and Eastern Europe. Among its greatest merits, the book contributes to bridging academia and activism and brings together established scholars, practitioners and civil society actors to offer valuable insights into the promises, challenges and pitfalls of current and future EU enlargement for LGBT rights in regions of Europe that, despite their salience and relevance, have been neglected for too long in sexuality and gender scholarship.”
- (Dr. Isabelle Engeli, University of Bath, UK)


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