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Coming Out of CommunismThe Emergence of LGBT Activism in Eastern Europe$
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Conor O'Dwyer

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781479876631

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479876631.001.0001

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EU Enlargement and LGBT Rights

EU Enlargement and LGBT Rights

“Returning to Europe” and Discovering a New World

(p.33) 2 EU Enlargement and LGBT Rights
Coming Out of Communism

Conor O'Dwyer

NYU Press

This chapter describes how the EU came to embrace policies furthering LGBT equality and then promoted them transnationally through the enlargement process. It addresses three main questions. First, what was the EU’s own path to these policies? Second, how have scholars conceptualized EU leverage in diffusing these policies, and what are the findings in extant empirical analyses of this diffusion in Western Europe and first-wave postcommunist EU applicant-states? Third, if the geographic scope is extended to include not just first-wave postcommunist EU applicant-states but all of postcommunist Europe, can EU leverage still be shown to significantly influence states’ adoption of LGBT-friendly policies? The chapter presents statistical analysis to address the latter question. It finds support for the positive effect of EU leverage on legal frameworks regarding sexual orientation in postcommunist Europe broadly considered, but it also finds that the promise of membership has a stronger effect on the quality of rights frameworks than being a member.

Keywords:   leverage, diffusion, LGBT policies, Western Europe, postcommunist Europe

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