The Political Economy of Sexuality and Abortion (Bergen Exchanges/EADI Panel)

Across the globe, “morality” issues such as homosexuality and abortion have become high stake politics, constituting rallying points for political mobilization and contestation in the political branches as well as in the courts. Abortion related questions play a central political role in Latin America, issues of same sex relations do the same on the African continent.

In the USA both issues have been highly politicized for decades, and in several European countries they are recurring in the political debate. Why is this so? Some see this mainly in religious terms, and particularly as a result of American evangelical churches gaining increased global influence.
Others point to the fact that political leaders often invoke “morality” issues strategically to bolster their support, often by invoking this as a bogeyman in order to frighten citizens or inspire loyalty. Political leaders – from Russia’s President Putin, Uganda’s President Museveni and Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega, to Donald Trump – have found homophobia and resistance to ‘gender ideology’ and reproductive rights highly effective tools for creating alliances, diverting attention and mobilizing political support. This roundtable will analyze the political economy of sexuality and abortion around the globe.

Organiser: Centre on Law and Social Transformation, University of Bergen

Moderator: Pierre de Vos (University of Cape Town Law School, South Africa)

Participants include: Getnet Tadele (Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia), Leo Arriola (UC Berkeley), Alan Msosa (University of Essex), Marta Machado (FGV São Paulo), Frans Viljoen (Univeristy of Pretoria)

Venue: Bergen Resource Center for International Development, Jektviksbakken 31