A growing queer divide: The divergence between transnational advocacy networks and foreign aid in diffusing LGBT policies

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Abstract

Despite years of success, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) norms are becoming increasingly polarized across the global landscape-with some countries strongly complying with new expectations while others openly defy them. To explain these divergent paths, I investigate the transmission of global LGBT norms via two mechanisms: transnational advocacy networks and foreign aid conditionalities. In examining LGBT policy adoption across 110 non-Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries between 1990 and 2016, I find evidence that the process through which states are exposed to LGBT norms can indeed help explain these different approaches. Exposure to LGBT norms through transnational advocacy networks enhances the effect of these norms and is associated with more progressive policy adoption, while greater dependence on foreign aid pushes states to reject LGBT norms. Consequently, this study provides new insights into how the mechanism through which countries are exposed to norms shapes compliance and adds new evidence questioning the effectiveness of foreign aid as a tool to advance LGBT rights.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-132
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Studies Quarterly
Volume64
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

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