Regulating and Legitimating Sexualities: the State, Law, Sexual Culture and Change under Neo-Liberalism

deadline for submissions: 
July 8, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
International Network for Sexual Ethics and Politics & Miami University Luxembourg
contact email: 

Regulating and Legitimating Sexualities: the State, Law, Sexual Culture and Change under Neo-Liberalism


An International Network for Sexual Ethics and Politics Workshop in Association with and hosted by

Miami University Luxembourg - Differdange, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

October 21st-22nd 2016


In much of Europe, parts of the North America and Australasia, the last 60 years have been a slow movement towards greater legal and civil equality. Through a mixture of legislation, civil charter challenges, political pressure and protest, lesbian and gay recognition has been accompanied by more permissive sexual values and tolerance and a greater sense of change to counter sexual prejudices and pathologies. This is very much an unfinished process, with questionmarks over the depth or superficiality of change, the extent of legal and civil permissiveness and tolerance, the constitution of 'metrosexuality', 'homonormativity' and other articulations of contemporary sexual politics. The dominant forms of norms and values still correspond to capitalist hetero-patriarchy, modified rather than transformed. More, the nature of this change has progressed through a period when neo-liberal political economy has been dominant, where commodification, consumption and markets have shaped social and cultural change and the politics of recognition has characterised change, if not with accompanying redistribution.

This workshop seeks to explore and evaluate the role, functions and impact of state and legal change in sexual politics in the context of neo-liberalism. It seeks to make sense of sexual rights, equality, recognition, justice and citizenship as results of change in legal, civil and state regulated permissions, prohibitions and regulations.

Papers are sought on any of the following (the list is not exclusive):

  • sexual politics, recognition and redistribution
  • sexual right and claims of citizenship within the contexts of the capitalist state
  • Evaluating homonormativity and social and legal change
  • Metrosexuality, sexual difference and the terms of sexual tolerance
  • States as agents of sexual change
  • The scope and limits to legal and civil change
  • The power and limits to state-led change
  • What does state theory tell us about sexual change
  • Queer sexualities and the state
  • The state, sexuality and class, ethnicity/race, disability and gendered intersections
  • Neo-liberalism, commodification, consumption, markets and sexual change

We welcome proposals for papers of not more than 20 minutes, from any discipline or transdisciplinary field, whether philosophical, theoretical or empirically based.  The organisers anticipate publication in a special edition of a journal and an edited collection.

Abstracts of no more than 200 words, accompanied by the name(s) and affiliation(s) of paper proposers, may be submitted online only at:

Relevant dates are:

  • Deadline for submission of Abstracts/Proposals by: Friday 8th July 2016
  • Notification of Acceptance and Rejection begins:  Monday 18th July 2016
  • Online conference registration and fees payment from Monday 18th July 2016 to Friday 2nd September.
  • Please note that in recognition of the difficulties of academic delegates in respect of applying for funding from their institutions, where proposers specifically request, we will seek to make an early adjudication as to the acceptance or otherwise of their contribution

The Conference Language is English and all papers and presentations should be in English.

The conference fee is 100 Euros. Marginal reductions may be possible for postgraduates or those without finance. This should be highlighted with proposals, and decisions will be made quickly as to what discount can be offered

The fee includes:Registration and administration fees; Conference Pack; Refreshments; 2 lunches; 1 Conference Reception

For any questions or concerns please contact the conference organizers at the email address below.

Tom Claes, University of Ghent, Belgium
Thierry Leterre, University of Miami, Luxembourg
Paul Reynolds, Edge Hill University, UK