This chapter shows that deliberative democracy is an important consideration for African nations, especially with an eye on the divisive effects of aggregative politics on democracies involving multi-ethnic groupings. The chapter explores Wiredu’s plea for democracy by consensus as an alternative model better suited than multi-party politics for an African context, and concludes that we need further research to determine where we could institute consensual mechanisms in African countries. Furthermore, it proposes that research on deliberation in Africa needs to go beyond philosophical discussions, and that empirical scholars need to begin testing various arguments in the philosophical and theoretical debates about deliberation.
Monica Tabengwa and Matthew Waites
This chapter considers sexualities and genders in Africa by exploring the relationship between precolonial, colonial, and current forms of regulation. The field of research on sexual and gender diversity in Africa is introduced, including African lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex (LGBTI) and queer research, with an emphasis on the need to challenge homogenizing characterizations of “homophobic Africa.” Differences between European colonialisms—such as the British, French, and Portuguese—are noted, with the British as the source of the most extensive legal criminalization of same-sex acts. Regarding recent developments, there is discussion of Uganda as a particularly concerning context, with the Anti-Homosexuality Act briefly passed into law in 2014, though later struck down by that country’s Supreme Court. The passage of Nigeria’s Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act in 2014 has similarly reflected homophobic state action. Yet it is also possible to note decriminalizations of same-sex sexual acts in several states including South Africa, Lesotho, the Seychelles, and Mozambique. Examples from Botswana and Kenya are used to discuss the value of strategic litigation in the courts as a way to achieve change. A final section discusses how African international governmental organizations, particularly the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, have become a focus for claims by organizations such as the Coalition of African Lesbians. The recent withdrawal observer status from the Coalition of African Lesbians occurred in a context of pressure from the African Union and exemplifies current tensions and conflicts in the continent.
Beibei Tang, Tetsuki Tamura, and Baogang He
Japan and China offer two interesting case studies of Asian “deliberative turn” and represent different potential paths to deliberative democracy in Asia. Japanese public deliberation promises to deepen democracy within a liberal democratic system, while Chinese deliberative processes may have the potential to introduce democratic moments into an authoritarian system. In this chapter we aim to develop an understanding of how two key East Asian contexts, Japan and China, are developing deliberative institutions. We examine their cultural, institutional, and historical features, discuss the driving forces, characteristics, and patterns of deliberative institutions, and investigate the impact of Confucian culture. To apply the systematic approach we also examine the potential for deliberative capacity building, as well as assess the prospects for deliberative democracy in East Asia.
Ramya Parthasarathy and Vijayendra Rao
This chapter traces the evolution of deliberative institutions in India, as well as the ways in which deliberative bodies influence, and are in influenced by, entrenched social inequality. The paper first unpacks the historical roots of Indian deliberation, emphasizing the ways in which religious traditions fostered a culture of debate and dialogue. The paper then explores the interplay between Western liberal philosophers, most notably Henry Maine, and Indian political thinkers, including Gandhi and Ambedkar, on participatory democracy in India. The discussion then highlights the continued dialogue between Indian and Western ideas in the push for greater participatory development. Finally, the chapter probes the current incarnation of state-sponsored deliberation in India—namely, village assemblies known as gram sabhas under the constitutionally mandated system of Indian village democracy or Panchayati Raj, and reviews the growing empirical scholarship about these village assemblies.
Latin America is a recurring reference among scholars of deliberative democracy, mostly due to the participatory budgeting, which was created in Brazil, and quickly spread around the world. The participatory budgeting was deemed successful due to its positive social and political outcomes, but also because it has shown that deliberation can be an inclusive and effective means of democratic decision-making. Yet, the participatory budget is one among hundreds of deliberative practices evolved in Latin America. While a large volume of research has focused on factors leading to participatory budgeting’s success, few have asked what are the contextual and institutional factors that explain why such inclusive and effective deliberative practice was born and bred in Latin America. This chapter tackles this question, and answers it by casting light on a variety of deliberative practices that compose Latin America’s vast experimentation with democracy.
After two and a half decades of progress, the struggle for LGBT rights in Latin America started to experience a new form of backlash in the mid-2010s. Backlashes against LGBT progress are not new, but the current backlash in Latin America has a new element: the entry of evangelical churches as powerful veto players. This chapter discusses how religious groups, in particular evangelicals, are taking advantage of institutions of liberal democracy to block progress on LGBT rights. It applies theories of collective action and social movement to demonstrate how evangelicals have become the most powerful actors blocking progress.
This chapter illuminates one dynamic of the global emergence and successes of LGBT politics in the early twenty-first century: how LGBT communities remember and narrate the emergence of LGBT politics and the historical antecedents they use to contextualize contemporary LGBT rights claims. In juxtaposing a nationally circulating narrative with a regional one, the chapter suggests that how narratives about the emergence of LGBT politics circulate is a function of scale. For example, both national and regional LGBT rights efforts take note of events in the city of Tarapoto, located in Peru’s Amazonian region. At the national level, the violence that occurred in Tarapoto during Peru’s internal armed conflict helped link LGBT rights claims to the country’s broader human rights movement. Yet in Tarapoto interlocutors emphasized a municipal anniversary parade as a starting point for recounting the successes of LGBT rights in the region. Whereas analyses at the national scale may indicate a less successful record of LGBT rights in Peru in comparison to other Latin American countries, shifting analysis to the regional scale reveals an alternative account.
Kyle Powys Whyte
Indigenous environmental movements have been important actors in twentieth- and twenty-first-century global environmental politics and environmental justice. Their explicit foci range from the protection of indigenous environmental stewardship systems to upholding and expanding treaty responsibilities to securing indigenous rights in law and policy. This chapter suggests that these movements open important intellectual spaces for thinking about the function of environmental governance institutions in addressing complex environmental issues such as clean water and forest conservation. Different from institutional functions based on market mechanisms or appeals to human psychological tendencies, a variety of indigenous environmentalists suggest that institutions should function to convene reciprocal responsibilities across relatives as diverse as humans, non-human beings such as plants, entities such as water, and collectives such as forests.
Teena Gabrielson, Cheryl Hall, John M. Meyer, and David Schlosberg
This introductory chapter offers an overview of the context, content, and history of environmental political theory (EPT) as a field of study within political science. It starts by differentiating EPT from both the subfield of political theory and other areas of sustainability and environmental studies, with its focus on the political nature of human/non-human relations. EPT’s development over the last twenty years is discussed, in terms of both substantive foci and maturation as a field. The chapter then turns to an overview of the structure and chapters of the Handbook, including chapters on EPT as a field of inquiry, the rethinking of nature and political subjects, the goals and ideals of EPT, various obstacles faced by environmental change, and the role of activism in environmental politics and thought.
LGBT Rights, Sexual Citizenship, and Blacklighting in the Anglophone Caribbean: What Do Queers Want, What Does Colonialism Need?
Cornel Grey and Nikoli A. Attai
This chapter takes up questions of sexual citizenship by examining the desire for and impact of LGBT rights discourses in the Anglophone Caribbean. The chapter works through the difficulties and aspirations of queer politics in the Caribbean to articulate a vision of citizenship and/or freedom that is not overdetermined by white Anglocentric models. Popular measurements of homophobia tell a partial story of queer life and sexual politics in the Caribbean, and this chapter attempts to fill that gap by pointing to the ways that queer people engage, challenge, redefine, and dissociate from laws and policies that mark their sexuality as antagonistic to nationhood. The chapter draws on Rinaldo Walcott’s mobilization of homopoetics to contextualize the political and cultural tensions between LGBT rights organizations in the Global North and organizers in the Caribbean. It offers blacklighting as a way to name the processes by which organizations and governments in the Global North doubly impose LGBT rights frameworks and forward antiblack narratives about Caribbean citizens. In closing, the chapter asks for a return to the question of LGBT rights and its deployment in the Caribbean and proposes a means of engagement that holds blackness alongside sexuality in matters of rights and citizenship.
This chapter surveys LGBTQ politics in the Anglo-American democracies, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Political change has followed a somewhat similar trajectory from the decriminalization of same-sex conduct through struggles over discrimination in areas such as employment to the recognition of same-sex relationships and families. From the emergence of gay liberation in the late 1960s to the marriage equality movements of the 2000s, LGBTQ communities have increasingly lived in the open and pushed for full sexual and political citizenship. In the Anglo-American democracies, same-sex conduct is no longer criminal, discrimination in key areas such as employment is banned, and some form of same-sex relationship recognition exists. At the same time, however, progress in the recognition of queer rights has been uneven, with the United States failing to prohibit employment discrimination and Australia only recently providing legal recognition of same-sex marriage. This chapter discusses the intersection of social movement activism and political institutions in these cases, exploring the role of political mobilization and litigation by LGBTQ movements. In doing so, it identifies some of the key factors that have facilitated and impeded the process of legal and policy change for LGBTQ communities across this group of countries including political institutional factors, partisan electoral dynamics, and the role of religion and public opinion.
This chapter focuses on two Nigerian narratives, namely Chinua Achebe’s Arrow of God and Flora Nwapa’s Efuru. If the success of the colonial event was premised not only on military incursions but also on the repudiation and elision of African precolonial cultural systems, it makes sense that cultural texts would play a key role in the project of decolonization. This chapter argues that while Achebe’s text foregrounds the epistemic violence of the colonial edifice and the patriarchy of the indigenous communities, Nwapa’s work rewrites the anticolonial text by foregrounding the female script and linking the experience of women to the exploitation of the colonies.
The State of Being LGBT in the Age of Reaction: Post-2011 Visibility and Repression in the Middle East and North Africa
Mehmet Sinan Birdal
This chapter provides an overview of LGBT politics in the Middle East and North Africa region, with a specific focus on Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, and Turkey. It argues that LGBT movements in these countries must be understood within the context of how the state is engaged in a broader range of authoritarian and/or state-centered regulations of social movements after the period of the Arab Spring. It also illustrates how the current regulation of LGBT rights has historical roots in the understanding of sexual identities during the colonial era. The chapter argues, therefore, that the understanding of LGBT rights as part of a “progress” or “democratization” narrative is simplistic and does not account for the historical and structural conditions that created the contexts and possibilities for contemporary LGBT organizing.