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Palgrave Macmillan

The EU Enlargement and Gay Politics

The Impact of Eastern Enlargement on Rights, Activism and Prejudice

  • Book
  • © 2016


Part of the book series: Gender and Politics (GAP)

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About this book

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.


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Table of contents (10 chapters)

  1. The Broader Picture: LGBT Issues in the EU

  2. Zooming in: Central and Eastern Europe


“Still too little scholarship has explored the relationship between European enlargement and gay politics. This timely and comprehensive volume is a welcome correction to that gap. The authors make an impressive contribution to on-going debates around conditionality and Europeanization from the Baltics to the Balkans. The varied case studies and the interdisciplinary nature of the volume—weaving together theoretical approaches from fields of politics, law, sociology, and queer theory—makes this book an indispensable resource for a wide scholarly audience.” (Phillip Ayoub, Drexel University, USA)

“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)

Editors and Affiliations

  • School of Politics and IR, Queen Mary University of London, London, United Kingdom

    Koen Slootmaeckers

  • KU Leuven – University of Leuven, Leuven International & European Studies, Leuven, Belgium

    Heleen Touquet

  • KU Leuven – University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

    Peter Vermeersch

About the 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).


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