Minority rights after EU enlargement : a comparison of antigay politics in Poland and Latvia
"This paper examines the recent backlash against gay rights in Poland and Latvia as a test case of the depth and breadth of "Europeanization" in the new postcommunist Member States of the European Union (EU). We argue that antigay mobilization in these countries constitutes illiberal governance (and thus a failure of Europeanization) on three grounds: failure of institutional protections for sexual minorities, broad inclusion of illiberal elites in mainstream politics and virulence of antigay rhetoric by political elites in the public sphere. To explain the stalled Europeanization of non-discrimination norms regarding sexual minorities, we apply two analytical models widely used to explain successful norm adoption in other policy areas: the "external incentives" and "social learning" models. We find that in the case of gay rights, EU conditionality was weak, and national identity and "resonance" operated against norm adoption, as did domestic institutions (namely, weakly institutionalized party systems). The EU might have overcome these obstacles through persuasion, but deliberative processes were lacking. Our analysis suggests that some of the key factors underlying both models of norm adoption operate differently in the new, post-accession context, and that social learning is likely to play a greater role in post-accession Europeanization."--Editor.
Bibliography: p. 242-243.