The Europeanization and Transnationalization of Civil Society Organizations Striving for Equality: Goals and Strategies of Gay and Lesbian Groups in Italy and the Netherlands
Title: The Europeanization and Transnationalization of Civil Society Organizations Striving for Equality: Goals and Strategies of Gay and Lesbian Groups in Italy and the Netherlands
Author: HOLZHACKER, Ronald
Series/Number: EUI RSCAS; 2007/36
This article first traces the efforts of civil society organizations (CSOs) to press for equality and antidiscrimination measures in the Treaty of Amsterdam. The gradual Europeanization of social policy has led to the growing transnationalization of the goals and strategies of gay and lesbian CSOs, in which national groups learn and are assisted by groups in other countries in a horizontal process and in the creation of an umbrella organization at the European level in a vertical process of the movement’s institutionalization. The article then presents an empirical investigation of the contemporary goals and strategies pursued by two national groups, Arcigay in Italy and the COC in the Netherlands. While the literature presents two possible ‘modes of interaction’ between the CSO and their political environment—either highly divisive ‘morality politics’ or an incremental ‘interest group’ mode of interaction—we find this must be joined by a third we call ‘high profile politics.’ This mode is marked by coalition seeking, highly visible public events, government support, and transnational activity at the European level and abroad. This is a strategy possible where there is a high degree of public support for equality and minimal partisan or religious opposition to the goals of the movement. The Italian Arcigay is currently in a ‘morality politics’ mode of interaction and the Dutch COC in a ‘high-profile politics’ mode of interaction with their political environment.
Subject: Civil society organizations; Europeanization; transnationalization; gay and lesbian; coalitions
Type of Access: openAccess