When States ‘Come Out’: Europe's Sexual Minorities and the Politics of Visibility
Cambridge University Press, 2016
"There are many well-trained scholars of social movements; many others who are experts on European transnational politics; and still others who specialize on the LGBT movement. But there is no one who has encompassed all three more elegantly than Phillip Ayoub has done in this richly documented, carefully researched, and intellectually inspiring book. More than a consummate exercise in comparative research, and more than an in-depth inquiry into the LGBT movement in both parts of Europe, it is also a profoundly enlightening inquiry into the factors that produce cultural openness to diversity and those that inhibit it."
Sidney Tarrow, Emeritus Maxwell M. Upson Professor of Government, Cornell University
"This innovative book breaks new ground in the study of human rights, international relations, social movements, and identity politics. Phillip Ayoub provides a deep and rigorous multi-method analysis of a critical issue at the frontiers of the struggle for human dignity."
Alison Brysk, Mellichamp Professor of Global Governance, University of California, Santa Barbara
"When States Come Out is a masterful analysis of the domestic and transnational currents of Europe's LGBT politics. Based on a rich trove of new qualitative and quantitative data, Ayoub's compelling argument shows how and why the politics of visibility is at the center of the human rights and dignity movement."
Peter J. Katzenstein, Walter S. Carpenter, Jr Professor of International Studies, Cornell University
"This brilliant study provides a compelling answer to the question of what drives policy success of LGBT movements in particular and of social movements more generally. Phillip Ayoub anchors his empirically rich, meticulously researched, and theoretically sophisticated argument in the idea that norm visibility is the key to policy success. This book is a must-read for scholars and activists interested in how marginalized groups gain agency and generate political change."
Sabine Lang, Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington
"Why, like their counterparts in the United States, have some European Union states advanced LGBT rights much more rapidly than others in recent years? In When States Come Out, Phillip Ayoub marries a sophisticated theoretical framework to a wealth of empirical data to advance a compelling argument about the importance of transnational norms and the domestic politics of visibility to shaping real progress on the rights of sexual minorities. This is an important contribution not only to the literature on LGBT politics, but also to that on comparative social movements and the politics of social change more broadly."
Robert Singh, Birkbeck, University of London
'This is an excellent examination and analysis of what makes the efforts of sexual minorities, and social movements in general, successful or not … Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.' W. K. Hall, Choice
"Phillip Ayoub’s book When States Come Out presents one of the most substantive and systematic attempts to date to explain how and why LGBT rights change and vary and the role that domestic and transnational politics play. ... [T]his is an excellent and superbly researched book for scholars and graduate students that advances scholarship within LGBT politics, European politics, and more broadly within contentious politics, social movements, and human rights norm change." International Studies Review
"When States Come Out sheds new light on long-standing questions about the conditions under which weak, marginalized, and stigmatized groups are able to bring about political and social change. Focusing on the inconsistent diffusion of rights and recognition for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people across European Union states, Phillip Ayoub draws on a wealth of evidence to demonstrate the important role of individual and collective visibility in provoking both recognition of but also resistance to justice and equality for LGBT people. His analyses lead to important and often surprising insights about the sources and consequences of both movement victories and setbacks, offering reasons for optimism at the same time as they deliver sobering reminders about continued persecution and barriers to justice."
Dara Z. Strolovitch, Princeton University
"A revolution has swept across the countries of Europe, transforming LGBT persons from criminal degenerates into upstanding and even celebrated members of society. But the revolution has not changed all countries equally. Some have moved quickly to grant LGBT citizens the same rights and protections accorded to their fellows. Other countries have showed greater reluctance, and even now fall short of equal incorporation. Accounting for the overall trends and especially the enduring variations are Phillip Ayoub's central tasks, and he fulfills them brilliantly in this masterful and incisive book."
David John Frank, University of California, Irvine
'This timely work is an informative, empirical look at how the norms of visibility and inclusion of LGBT persons have grown and spread throughout Europe. With a keen eye to political history and the subtleties of national and religious identity, Ayoub discusses the causal factors that have led to the variation in the rights and protections for LGBT persons across countries. And his meticulous research sheds valuable light not only on the successes and obstacles of LGBT rights movements but on the course of norm penetration as a whole... More than just a sophisticated case study, When States Come Out is a resource for anyone seeking to promote human rights at the civil society and state levels.' Ethics & International Affairs
Summary: Why, despite similar international pressures, has socio-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 differences in international pressures, the fit between domestic and international norms, modernization or low implementation costs – the traditional explanations for successful diffusion and social change. Extensive fieldwork (82 semi-structured interviews, a survey of 291 LGBT organizations, and 2 datasets on legislation and social attitudes) suggests new domestic preconditions and international pathways of diffusion. I use a mixed-method approach, combining large-n quantitative analysis with in-depth qualitative analysis of key cases, to argue that visibility is central to norm diffusion. The degree to which international pressures resonate in various states – and become internalized within them – depends on specific international channels and domestic interest groups that make political issues visible. The exchange of ideas with other countries and the extent of a state’s openness to international organizations have demonstrable effects on diffusion. Furthermore, the extent to which domestic actors are embedded in transnational networks shapes the speed and direction of diffusion. The findings thus speak to the politics of visibility and how it can accelerate or retard social change.
Das Coming-out der Staaten
Europas sexuelle Minderheiten und die Politik der Sichtbarkeit
Transcript Verlag, 2017
In den letzten zwei Jahrzehnten ist die LGBT-Bewegung (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) in einer im Vergleich zu anderen Menschenrechtsbewegungen beispiellosen Geschwindigkeit gewachsen. Phillip M. Ayoub zeichnet die jüngere Geschichte dieser transnationalen Bewegung in Europa nach. Er zeigt, wie das »Coming-out« die marginalisierte Gesellschaftsgruppe ins Zentrum der politischen Debatte rückte und ihr zu längst fälligen Rechten verhalf. Neben der Analyse der von der Bewegung vertretenen Normen steht vor allem die Frage im Zentrum, warum die gesellschaftsrechtliche Anerkennung der LGBT-Minderheiten in den jeweiligen Staaten so unterschiedlich verläuft.
© 2017. Phillip Ayoub. All rights reserved. Keywords: transnational politics, norm diffusion, social movements, LGBT rights.