Comparative European Politics

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 23–47

National and transnational strategies of LGBT civil society organizations in different political environments: Modes of interaction in Western and Eastern Europe for equality

  • Ronald Holzhacker
Original Article

DOI: 10.1057/cep.2010.21

Cite this article as:
Holzhacker, R. Comp Eur Polit (2012) 10: 23. doi:10.1057/cep.2010.21


This article focuses on the national and transnational strategies of five European Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender civil society organizations (CSOs) pressing for equality and non-discrimination. We present three modes of interaction between CSOs and their political environment. The first mode we label ‘morality politics’. Arcigay in Italy and the Campaign against Homophobia in Poland are seemingly locked in this mode because they are confronted with a hostile and organized opposition, both in terms of public opinion and elite opinion. A second mode of interaction we label an ‘incremental change’ mode and is the strategy pursued by Stonewall in the United Kingdom and the Hatter Society in Hungary, marked by discreet elite level lobbying. Finally, we introduce a third mode of interaction we label ‘high-profile politics’. This mode is marked by highly visible public events, coalition seeking, cooperation with government, and transnational activity at the European level and abroad. This is a strategy possible by CSOs where there is a high degree of public support for equality and minimal partisan or religious opposition to the goals of the movement. The Dutch COC has been pursuing this ‘high-profile politics’ mode of interaction in their political environment over the past few years.


civil society organizations transnationalization social movements gay rights political environment 

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald Holzhacker
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of International Relations and International Organization (IRIO)University of GroningenGroningenthe Netherlands

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