When States Come Out: Transnational Movements & the Diffusion of LGBTI Rights in Europe

On Oct. 31 the Center welcomed Phillip M. Ayoub for a talk titled "When States Come Out: Transnational Movements & the Diffusion of LGBTI Rights in Europe." In the last two decades, the LGBTI movement has gained momentum that is arguably unprecedented in speed and suddenness when compared to other human rights movements. This talk investigates the recent history of this transnational movement in Europe, as well as backlashes to it, focusing on the diffusion of the norms it champions and the overarching question of why the trajectories of socio-legal recognition for LGBT minorities are so different across states. The talk makes the case that a politics of visibility has engendered the interactions between movements and states that empower marginalized people - mobilizing actors to demand change, influencing the spread of new legal standards, and weaving new ideas into the fabrics of societies. It documents how this double-edged process of 'coming out' empowers some marginalized social groups by moving them to the center of political debate and public recognition and making it possible for them to obtain rights to which they have due claim.

Phillip M. Ayoub is Professor of International Relations at University College London and co-Editor of the European Journal of Politics and Gender. He is the author of When States Come Out: Europe’s Sexual Minorities and the Politics of Visibility (Cambridge University Press, 2016) and his articles have appeared in the American Political Science Review, Comparative Political Studies, the European Journal of International Relations, Political Research Quarterly, the European Journal of Political Research, Mobilization, the European Political Science Review, the Journal of Human Rights, Social Politics and Social Movement Studies, among others.