Coming in

Sexual politics and EU accession in Serbia

By Koen Slootmaeckers

Coming in
Hardcover -
  • Price: £85.00
  • ISBN: 9781526159342
  • Publish Date: Feb 2023
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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  • Price: £85.00
  • ISBN: 9781526159335
  • Publish Date: Mar 2023
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Book Information

    • Format: Hardcover
    • ISBN: 978-1-5261-5934-2
    • Pages: 248
    • Price: £85.00
    • Published Date: February 2023
    • Series: European Politics


    LGBT rights have become increasingly salient within the EU enlargement process as a litmus test for Europeanness. But the promotion of these norms has provided a basis for political contestation. This book interrogates the normative dimensions of the EU enlargement process, with special reference to LGBT politics. Reconceptualising Europeanisation, it argues that EU enlargement is a process of negotiated transformation in which EU policies and norms are (re)defined, translated and transformed. Empirically, it analyses the promotion of and resistance to LGBT equality norms in Serbia's EU integration process, but it looks beyond policies to the impact of the negotiated transitions on lived experiences. Overall, the book raises important questions about the political and social consequences of Europeanisation. At its heart is one crucial question: what do we consider progress?


    Shortlisted for UACES Best Book Prize 2024

    'Coming in is an exceptional book, one that stitches together insights on Western Balkan queer politics and Europeanisation theory to deliver comprehensive rejoinders to both fields. It is impressive just how much Slootmaeckers's Serbian case teaches us about the intricacies of the complicated relationship - both in its potentialities and pitfalls - between the European Union and its candidate countries. Most importantly, Slootmaeckers goes beyond asking "why" some states adopt rights to normatively question what these rights mean for the people who experience them. This is a resoundingly successful effort that will benefit the literatures on tactical Europeanisation and the Western Balkans for the decisive years ahead.'
    Phillip Ayoub, Professor of International Relations, University College London

    'Coming in provides an original and thought-provoking analysis of the promotion of LGBT rights by the EU during the long and winding road of accession preparations in Serbia. The EU is often regarded as a leader in promoting such rights, but as Slootmaeckers reveals, its values are not fixed - rather they are negotiated during the accession process between the EU and candidate countries. This book calls for a reconceptualisation of the EU's behaviour during accession preparations and is essential reading for everyone in the field.'
    Paul Copeland, Reader in Public Policy, Queen Mary University of London

    'This meticulous and subtle work looks at campaigns for LGBT equality and recognition, but it sheds light on a broader phenomenon known to people studying EU conditionality in prospective member states: when the EU makes a goal look like a condition, governments respond with gestures that are designed to look like compliance. Is this a step forwards for equality or not? Koen Slootmaeckers constructs a solid empirical case to guide readers through this enigma, weaving his narrative with substance, detail and sophistication.'
    Eric Gordy, Professor of Political and Cultural Sociology, University College London

    'In Coming in, Koen Slootmaeckers traces the manifold ways in which the sexual politics and fight for LGBTQ rights in Serbia simultaneously influenced and were influenced by Serbia's tumultuous and still unresolved accession to the European Union. Theoretically innovative and empirically rich, this book is an essential contribution to the study of both LGBTQ politics and the fraught politics of European Union enlargement.'
    Jelena Subotic, Professor of Political Science, Georgia State University

    'Coming In provides a much-needed critical reappraisal of the Europeanisation of LGBT rights and EU enlargement policies, urging us to always interrogate the political motives behind legal change and whether "progress" translates into real-life improvements or further levels of exclusion for marginalised communities. At a time when geopolitical rhetoric and civilisational binaries appear to have been further normalised, Slootmaeckers' call for self-reflexivity in EU foreign policy resonates and has implications that go well beyond the specific policy-area and geographical focus of this book.'
    Laura Luciani, LSE Review of Books

    'A valuable addition to the growing literature on LGBTIQ+ communities in Southeastern Europe. [...]
    Slootmaeckers' newest contribution is unique because it offers a comprehensive yet succinct analysis of sexual politics, Europeanization, and policy making in relation to Serbia's path towards European Union membership.'
    Aleksandar Rankovic, CEU Review of Books

    'A valuable source for scholars and practitioners of both European integration and global queer politics.'
    Comparative Southeast European Studies



    Part I: rethinking Europeanisation and EU-Serbia relations
    1 Europeanisation as negotiated transitions: Towards a relational and transnational approach to EU enlargement
    2 Mapping the multi-layered normative structure of Serbia-EU relations

    Part II: Adopting, resisting, and transforming law and practices
    3 Anti-discrimination policies: From the margins to differentiated politicisations
    4 Taking it to the streets: Belgrade Pride as a litmus test for Serbia's Europeanisation

    Part III: Looking beyond policy towards lived experiences
    5 The attitudinal panopticon and the limited implementation of the anti-discrimination framework
    6 The emergence of the Ghost Pride and the transnational dislocation of LGBT politics




    Koen Slootmaeckers is a Senior Lecturer in International Politics at City, University of London

    Coming in

    By Koen Slootmaeckers

    Hardcover £85.00 / $130.00

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