Article

Queering Development in Homotransnationalist Times: A Postcolonial Reading of LGBTIQ Inclusive Development Agendas

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Abstract

This article is concerned with the growing attention for LGBTIQ rights in the so called “development industry,” particularly focusing on the strong role EUropean LGBTIQ organizations and LGBTIQ identified development practitioners have been and are playing in aiming to “queer” development cooperation and development policies. By critically interlinking insights from the field of postcolonial and “radical” development studies (Baaz 2005; Kothari 2005; Kothari ed. 2005; Kapoor 2008) with queer discussions on “imperial” and “neocolonial” implications of transnational LGBTIQ politics (Puar 2007; Haritaworn et al. 2008; Rao 2015) this articles explores how and in which ways “queer agendas” become entangled with the “project” of development, particularly its racialized manifestations. By examining the wider political context of queer development agendas this paper analyzes how new versions of an EUropean sexual exceptionalism are promoted and interact with homotransnationalist policies and LGBTIQ development strategies. It will be demonstrated that LGBTIQ-inclusive development strategies are therefore not only at risk of participating in the production of a new temporal-spatial divide between a “sexually developed” EUrope/West, which has to carry the “burden” to “develop” and “modernize” the sexually “backward,” and the “homophobic” rest but also how “queer” desires for development are often shaped by “homonostalgic” postures and narratives. However, by interpreting development as a highly paradoxical process that is imbued with hegemonic as well as oppositional and subversive practices, spaces of failure and “slippages” (Bhabha 1994) I conclude this article by shedding light on how (LGBTIQ inclusive) development agendas can and are also being utilized for decolonial and counter-hegemonies purposes.

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... At first, the idea of "leading by example" seems to be an illustration par excellence of the EU's desire to be a "normative power" (Manners 2002) and of the construction of a European "sexual exceptionalism" (Klapeer 2017;Puar 2007). For example, MEP Anna Maria Corazza Bildt (EPP) stated in a 2019 debate on the rights of LGBTI people: "The European Union must stand up for open societies and take the lead in respecting fundamental rights globally, living up to our core values of tolerance, equality and diversity" (EP debate 12.2.2019). ...
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