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ECPR Virtual General Conference 2020

Beyond Radical Right Politics: LGBT+ Rights in Hungary and Romania

Europe (Central and Eastern)
Human Rights
Radu Cinpoes
Kingston University
Radu Cinpoes
Kingston University

With the growth of support for populist and radical right movements in Europe, one area that sets apart Central and Eastern Europe from the rest of the continent is the attitude towards LGBT+ rights. This area has become a battleground with political parties as well as grassroots movements pushing back against the (often unconvincing) progress that has been made towards articulating legal frameworks guaranteeing equality and protection for sexual orientation minorities.
Within this context, the purpose of this paper is to look comparatively at the debates concerning constitutional provisions relative to LGBT+ rights in Hungary and Romania. Despite different current provisions and different political landscapes in the two countries, the first is to highlight similarities in terms of the direction of the process and of the mechanisms that inform it. Secondly, it aims to investigate the role of populist and right wing actors in shaping public debate and policy agenda. Finally, it aims to suggest that these trends go beyond the populist and radical right politics (while influenced by them) and need to be understood in terms of a much broader cultural ‘turn’ encompassing alongside human-rights backlash, other dimensions such as post-truth and post-secular discourses, illiberal articulations of democracy etc).
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