Tensions in the struggle for sexual minority rights in Europe

Que(e)rying political practices

By Nico Beger

Tensions in the struggle for sexual minority rights in Europe

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-6931-4
  • Pages: 264
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £16.99
  • Published Date: April 2009
  • BIC Category: Gay & Lesbian Studies, Society & social sciences / Politics & government, Society & social sciences / EU & European institutions, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Human Rights, POLITICAL SCIENCE / World / European, Human rights, civil rights, Politics & government, Politics


Tensions in the struggle for sexual minority rights in Europe, newly available in paperback, is the first queer and poststructuralist reading of political rights concepts in the specific European transnational context. In the last thirty years Europe has seen the rise of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender movements fighting nationally and transnationally for participation rights in society. In addition academic theorists have increasingly paid attention to the epistemological and ontological roles gender and sexuality play in modern politics. However, in the political process of arguing for rights the centrality of those roles is mostly hidden from view in official institutional and movement discourses.

This book investigates the conceptual themes of lesbian, gay and transgender rights and lobby politics in Europe and their open and hidden relations to binary and hierarchical orders of dominance. It contributes to an understanding of the conditions upon which politics of inclusion, participation, social justice and equality rest and why struggles for sexual minority rights have been so difficult and slow. It illuminates how the paradigms of political discourse constitute, consolidate and contest the meaning and cultural significance of gender and sexuality on modern, democratic, capitalist European societies.


Part I - Theory and Politics
1 European institutions: sexual rights lobbying
2 Queer theory and political practices
3 Mind the gap: hybrid relations of queer theory and political practice
Part II - Rights
4 European strategies: human rights
5 Claiming protection: anti-discrimination
6 Gender identity and sexual orientation: legal rights politics
7 A process of recognition: European citizenship
8 Framing the debate: kinship
Part III - Activists
9 The political activist: agency
Afterword: Tensions in the struggle for sexual minority rights


Nico Beger teaches academic courses on gender and sexuality theory in Amsterdam, and currently coordinates the EU Civil Society Contact group, the joint body of the EU social, environment, development and human rights NGO platforms

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