Svein-Erik Helle and Lise Rakner
Siri Gloppen and Lise Rakner
Politicization refers to the process by which a social phenomenon becomes the basis of mobilization by societal and political actors, who turns it into an issue of major political significance, as a subject of heated public argument, mobilization and conflict. Across Africa, homosexuality has become an issue of political contestation and conflict. The chapter analyses the forms and content of politicized homophobia in Africa and explains the rising politicization of nonheteronormative sexuality and gender identity that has marked much of the continent in the past decade and the role of law in this process. Providing examples from across the continent, the chapter argues that politicization varies in time and space, reflecting a complex combination of external and internal factors and the sociopolitical context in a given country or region.