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LGBTIQ+ Rights in Multilevel Governance Systems

This project examines the negotiation of human rights, specifically those of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ+) persons in various states in Southern Africa and at the transnational level. Decision-making processes on legal practices as well as social norms both at the national levels in South Africa and Botswana and the regional level, within the Southern African Development Community (SADC), by state and non-state actors, are the focus of the research project.

The debates around the rights of LGBTIQ+ persons are closely linked to issues of social change and social inequalities and show the intertwining of (conflicting) discourses on legal practices regarding the human rights of a vulnerable group of persons within the different countries and on a transnational level. In addition to national negotiation processes, the dynamics of transnational social debates between African (and European) countries are examined. The drastic impact of violent connections through colonization has had very concrete effects - not only, but also - on the rights of LGBTIQ+ persons until today. Negotiating the rights of this group of people at the national, regional, and international level represents a particularly interesting and relevant aspect the discontinuities as well as the continuities of colonial oppression. Conceptually, the project contributes to scholarly debates on multi-level governance approaches as well as regionalism research and links these with postcolonial and feminist perspectives.

The project is carried out at the Center for Conflict Studies and the Center for Gender Studies and Feminist Futures. 

Project Period: 2021-2022
Funding: Hessisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst, Forschungsschwerpunkt „Dimensionen der Kategorie Geschlecht – Frauen- und Geschlechterforschung in Hessen“
Leading Researcher: Dr. Mariel Reiss