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date: 30 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

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.

Keywords: Arab, Egypt, Lebanon, LGBT, MENA, Tunisia, Turkey, Arab Spring, democratization, dedemocratization

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