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Policy Paper

Orthodoxy, Autocracy, Nationality: the denial of citizenship rights and social protection to LGBT citizens within the traditionalist agenda in contemporary Russia

Author:

Elle Dibrova

About Elle
Elle Dibrova earned an undergraduate degree in Sociology (South-Russian State Technical University, Russia, 2009), Master's degree in Philology (Southern Federal University, Russia, 2015), Postgraduate Diploma in International Communication (Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand, 2018), and is now studying towards her PhD in Politics at the University of Otago, New Zealand. Elle's current research interests include hegemonic national identity in contemporary Russia, Russian politics around LGBT+ people, the othering of sexual and gender minorities in the country, and Russian sexual citizenship.
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Abstract

The existing Russian legislation and social policy deny full citizenship rights and social protection to LGBT individuals. This paper argues that the denial is part of the broader influence of the traditionalist agenda of the current authoritarian regime. This agenda aims to legitimise the regime and maintain the status quo. The agenda also represents an ideological policy instrument of state capacity, where state capacity refers to a form of political power that forces the population to comply with the state’s will. For the analysis, this paper adopts three key aspects of the political ideology of Nicolas I -Orthodoxy, Autocracy, Nationality- as the main components of the agenda. Then, the paper draws on the concept of sexual citizenship to examine the consequences that the agenda ́s implementation has had for LGBT citizens. The concept allows to criticise the relationship between the state and its sexualised citizens, and to analyse current policies that are discriminatory towards LGBT individuals. The paper concludes that, under the current authoritarian regime in Russia, it is highly unlikely that sexual and gender minorities will obtain full citizenship rights. These rights would contradict the hegemonic traditionalist ideology of the regime, which prioritises self-preservation above everything else.
How to Cite: Dibrova, E., 2021. Orthodoxy, Autocracy, Nationality: the denial of citizenship rights and social protection to LGBT citizens within the traditionalist agenda in contemporary Russia. The Public Sphere: Journal of Public Policy, 9(1).
Published on 08 May 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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