Coming Out of Communism
The Emergence of LGBT Activism in Eastern Europe
"In this masterful and timely study, O’Dwyer shows us how backlash can paradoxically benefit the domestic organizing capacity of LGBT rights advocates. This is a novel and compelling argument, substantiated by meticulously documented contention around those rights in post-communist Central and Eastern Europe. In crafting this argument, O’Dwyer demonstrates the great potential that the often-ignored study of LGBT politics offers for understanding a host of theoretical debates pertinent to political scientists. As unfettered populism and nationalism shake the core of liberal democracies, this book is needed more than ever, because it provides a sliver of hope in times of great peril for the most vulnerable among us."
—Phillip M. Ayoub, Author of When States Come Out: Europe's Sexual Minorities and the Politics of Visibility
“Why has LGBT rights activism flourished in some post-communist states and floundered in others following accession to the European Union? How come joining the EU was, in some places, accompanied by increasingly intolerant public attitudes toward sexual minorities, rather than acceptance? In Coming Out of Communism, Conor O’Dwyer solves these puzzles, highlighting the role of homophobic backlash in provoking stronger organizing for LGBT rights in the region.Anyone interested in LGBT issues, social movements, or the impact of transnational institutions on domestic politics, will undoubtedly enjoy learning from O’Dwyer’s keen analysis and intriguing field research in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania.”
—Valerie Sperling, Author of Sex, Politics, and Putin: Political Legitimacy in Russia
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