When States Come Out: Europe's Sexual Minorities and the Politics of Visibility

Open to the Public
Nador u. 9, Monument Building
Friday, November 6, 2015 - 9:00am
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Friday, November 6, 2015 - 9:00am to 10:00am

Why, despite similar international pressures, has the legal recognition of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) minorities changed so differently across states? Why are some traditionally Catholic countries leading the way on LGBT rights and why do other advanced, wealthy democracies lag behind? Such variations are not explained by traditional explanations for successful diffusion and social change. In this talk, I suggest new domestic preconditions and international pathways for change. I argue that visibility is central to the norm diffusion of LGBT rights policies. The exchange of ideas with other countries—which activists can broker and enable—and the extent of a state's openness to international organizations have demonstrable effects on diffusion and social change.

Phillip Ayoub is Assistant Professor of Politics at Drexel University. His research bridges insights from international relations and comparative politics, engaging with literature on transnational politics, gender and politics, norm diffusion, and the study of social movements. Ayoub's doctoral dissertation received the biennial 2013-2014 award for the best dissertation from the European Union Studies Association, as well as the 2014 Kenneth Sherrill Award for the best dissertation in the field of sexuality and politics and the 2014 award for the best dissertation in the field of human rights from sections of the American Political Science Association. He is also the recipient of Cornell University's 2011 Kahin Prize and co-recipient of the 2014 Esman Prize for distinguished scholarship. His articles have appeared in the European Journal of International Relations, Mobilization, the European Political Science Review, the Journal of Human Rights, and Perspectives on Europe.