Panels – Proud In Europe? LGBTI Emancipation in Comparative Perspective

4-5 August 2016

Organised by the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)

In August 2016 the city of Amsterdam will host Europride. In the two days preceding the canal parade an international scientific conference will take place in collaboration with the Amsterdam Research Center for Gender and Sexuality (ARC-GS) of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and its partners.The conference takes Europride as an occasion to question and compare the state of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) emancipation within Europe.

This two-day conference will offer a space to reflect from different European contexts on gains made in the fight for LGBTI rights as well as blind spots and pitfalls encountered on the way. The focus of the conference will be on tracing developments regarding LGBTI politics throughout Europe from various perspectives and disciplines from the social and behavioural sciences, the humanities, and law.

Conference Website:


INSEP Panels

Panel 02: Sexual Justice?

Tom Claes (INSEP/ University of Ghent)
Paul Reynolds (INSEP/ Edge Hill University)

The concept of social justice has been central to the development of a democratic politics of equality, toleration, and respect for diversity. However, justice rarely appears in discussions of sexual politics, and when it does it is not clearly explored. Is it just another phrase in the fight for equality or citizenship? Does it mean a social respect and dignity for sexual difference or non-heterosexual people? Is it centred on legal treatment or redress against harm? What does it mean to have sexual justice? As part of a widening and deepening of the discussion around what a sexually free society would be and where we are in relation to it, this panel will explore the idea of sexual justice and its application to current sexual politics. Possible more concrete issues that might be addressed are: dimensions of sexual justice; the relations, similarities and differences between a notion of sexual justice and other versions like gender, social, and economic justice; how does a notion of sexual justice relate to notions of sexual rights and human rights?; levers for sexual justice, from human rights to the Yogyakarta Principles; sexual justice and grass-roots activism in a globalizing world of diversity.

Panel 03: Sexual Citizenship – Are We There Yet?

Paul Reynolds (INSEP/ Edge Hill University)
Tom Claes (INSEP/ University of Ghent)

For much of North America, Europe and Australasia, there is the perception that an agenda for non-heterosexuals to be recognised as citizens has largely been achieved.  This is exemplified in legal equalisation, cultural acceptances and a social and political transformation of attitudes to sexual relations, orientations and public space. This representation is exemplified in Weeks (2007) The World We Have Won in the UK, though the ‘we’ might be applied to beyond the UK to western Europe, North America (unevenly in the US states) and Australia. The question remains, however: what have we – for whom claims of sexual citizenship are made – won? Whilst the everyday lives of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals have changed, and western European, North American and Australian LGB communities might enjoy greater citizenship recognition than others around the globe,  the character and depth of that change is open to question. There are a number of areas that have caused concern: the dominance of commercialisation and commodification in sexual life: the decline of political activism or its association with conservatives in an agenda that reflects the politics of contestation with Islam; the politics of homonormativity and homo-nationalism and the new normativities; the persistence of negative cultural stereotypes and contestations in continuing in partnership, child care and adoption; concerns over the gendered nature of sexual change. This panel will seek to engage in a critical exploration of the ‘balance sheet’ on the sexual citizenship we have – and the sexual citizenship we might wish to have.