Contracting Human Rights
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Contracting Human Rights

Crisis, Accountability, and Opportunity

Edited by Alison Brysk and Michael Stohl

By chronicling the continuing contest over the reach, range, and regime of rights, Contracting Human Rights analyzes the way forward in an era of many challenges. This multidisciplinary book contributes to building understanding of the maturation of human rights, from a dissident doctrine to a dynamic parameter of global governance and civil society. Through an examination of both global and local challenges to human rights, including loopholes, backlash, accountability, and new opportunities to move forward, this book analyzes trends across multiple-issue areas.
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Chapter 7: Perils of success: backlash and resistance to LGBT rights in domestic and international politics

Crisis, Accountability, and Opportunity

Phillip M. Ayoub


This chapter explores why norms governing LGBT rights mobilize a backlash and/or enduring resistance in some cases and not in others. It explores the phenomena of resistance at two related levels. First, based on a comparison of Poland and Slovenia, I trace how differing perceptions of threat define the way international norms are received in distinct domestic realms. Second, I explore threat perception and resistance as part of the emerging phenomena of norm polarization at the global level. Such polarization refers to a process in which states resist norms by purposively taking contradictory positions on the same norm, leading to norm indeterminacy.

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