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LGBTQ Speaker Series: Kelly Kollman

Monday, February 26, 2018

12:00 PM-1:50 PM

LGBTI Politics in an Era of Globalization: Visibility, Rights Expansion and Backlash


Few non-economic policy areas since the 1990s have been as influenced by processes of globalization as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and inter-sex (LGBTI) politics. The salience of LGBTI rights to global publics has lent issues such as the opening of marriage to same-sex couples and transgender rights a level of political symbolism that few observers would have predicted twenty years ago.

LGBTI politics have come to illustrate the power that global movements, norms and cross-border policy learning play in the national politics of 21st century states. More recent developments, however, also demonstrate the complexity of such globalizing processes as LGBTI rights expansion has been accompanied by sustained campaigns of backlash against sexual minorities in certain regions. The fact that global movements can spawn counter-movements is well known but how and why these processes occur is still not well understood. This talk will explore what we have learned about the policy influence of global movements and norms from the last two decades of research on LGBTI politics. Kollman will also present recent research undertaken that sheds light on why these movements sometimes fail and/or create a politics of sustained resistance in certain countries.

Kelly Kollman, PhD, is a senior lecturer in politics at the University of Glasgow where she has taught comparative politics and international relations since 2005.

Her research focuses on the influence that transnational networks and international norms have on domestic actors and policy outcomes. This work focuses on two distinct policy areas: the diffusion of same-sex unions policies across western democracies and the diffusion of corporate social responsibility norms to firms across the globe. She has recently published a book on the former topic entitled The Same-sex Unions Revolution in Western Democracies: International Norms and Domestic Policy Change (Manchester University Press 2013), which seeks to explain the almost universal adoption of SSU policies in Western Europe and North America since 1989.

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The LGBTQ Speaker Series is funded by multiple organizations across Drexel: The Office of International Programs, LGBTQA+ Faculty and Professional Staff CRG, Women and Gender Studies Program, the Department of Sociology, the Department of Global Studies and Modern Languages, the Africana Studies Program, the Alumni Association, the Student Center for Diversity and Inclusion, the Department of Politics and the Center for Public Policy.

Contact Information

Phillip Ayoub

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Kline School of Law, 3320 Market Street, Room 240, Philadelphia, PA 19104


  • Everyone

Special Features

  • Free Food