Call for papers: Homonationalism and Right-Wing Political Discourses


Homonationalism and Right-Wing Political Discourses in the Nordic Countries: Impacts on the LGBTIQ Populations

Guest editors:
Dr Jón Ingvar Kjaran,University of Iceland ( 
Dr Zara Saeidzadeh, Örebro University (
Dr Mohammad Naeimi, University of Iceland (

The Nordic countries have long been framed within a utopic imaginary in terms of gender equality and LGBTIQ rights. However, the Nordic region has not escaped the global rise of nationalist discourse over the past few decades, leading to a steady disintegration of the values and practices that have nurtured egalitarianism underpinning its progressive reputation. The rise of nationalism and far-right populism in the Nordic region is threatening the living conditions of LGBTIQ people. Furthermore, some LGBTIQ people are being included in the Nordic national imaginary while others are excluded, such as those coming from different cultural settings, immigrants and migrants. This can be explained with the concept of homonationalism which was developed by Jasbir K. Puar in 2007 to emphasize how liberal rights discourses of homosexuality are promoted on the backs of racialized and sexualize ‘others’ (see also Puar 2013, 2015).

Another site of homonationalism is the idea of Nordic-exceptionalism by which the ´Nordic´ is phantasized as being pure and innocent of racism, being egalitarian and non-discriminatory. This view celebrates the gender equal nation-state as the role model for the world (Martinsson et al., 2016), while silencing the history of repressive actions against indigenous people (Sámi and Inuit) as well as ethnic and national minorities as accomplices to colonialism (Keskinen et al., 2019). Thus, the Nordic exceptionalism draws on homonationalist discourse in a way that exclude the rights of LGBTIQ people who do not ´fit´ into the ´Nordic´ imaginary - gay, lesbian, white, secular, non-Muslim. It can therefore be argued that the discourses on ‘Nordic exceptionalism’ (Alm et al., 2021) as well as the homogeneity of the Nordic nation-states (Keskinen et al., 2019) have paved the way for right-wing populist and nationalist discourses on gender and sexuality. The Nordic celebration of LGBTIQ rights as the banner of progression and modernity is imbued with nationalist ideas that demarcates boundaries between Nordic and non-Nordic. The acceptance of ‘Nordic’ homosexual bodies – who were previously ‘othered’ and marginalized is now in line with the homonationalist logic used to exclude immigrants, Muslims, people of colour, and anyone not considered to belong to the Nordic imaginary. Therefore, some LGBT individuals ‘continue to find themselves left out, abandoned not only by heterosexuals but [also] by those gays and lesbians who do not want their difference to make a difference’ (Phelan, 2001, p.141).

The aim of this special issue is to shed light on how neo-liberalization and increased nationalism and populism, as well as right-wing populism within the Nordic region is (re)shaping the LGBTI community along normativising lines, leading to a further minoritisation of those already facing precarity and exclusion. Furthermore, it aims to identify and compare right-wing political discourse and how such discourses intersect and cite homonationalist discourse across the Nordic countries, which in turn (re)produce violence against LGBTIQ population.

We invite transdisciplinary scholarly papers, short essays, reviews, artwork and commentary pieces across social sciences and humanities, and from authors coming from various national contexts.

The issue covers the following themes but not limited to them: 

  • Colonialism – coloniality and intersectionality
  • Gender-nationalism
  • Homonationalism
  • Homonormativity
  • Homocapitalism / queering capitalism
  • Queer and trans* citizenship
  • Queer in the Nordic equality myth
  • Queer immigration / refugees
  • Queering utopia/dystopia
  • Transnormativity
  • Violence regimes
  • Belonging formation
  • Human rights / critical (queer) human right perspective
  • Nordic exceptionalism

Deadline for abstracts (max. 300 words): 31th of August 2022 to and  
Decisions on abstracts will be sent to authors: 30th of Sept. 2022.
Deadline for first full drafts (max 6000-8000 words):  1st of February 2023.
Planned publication: 2023



Alm, E., Berg, L., Lundahl Hero, M., Johansson, A., Laskar, P., Martinsson, L., ... & Wasshede, C. (2021). Pluralistic struggles in gender, sexuality and coloniality: Challenging Swedish exceptionalism (p. 316). Springer Nature.

Keskinen, S., Skaptadóttir, U. D., & Toivanen, M. (2019). Undoing homogeneity in the Nordic region: Migration, difference and the politics of solidarity (p. 224). Taylor & Francis.

Martinsson, L., & Griffin, G. (Eds.). (2016). Challenging the myth of gender equality in Sweden. Policy Press.

Phelan, S., 2001. Sexual Strangers: Gays, Lesbians, and Dilemmas of Citizenship.
Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.

Puar, J. K. (2007). Introduction: Homonationalism and biopolitics. In Terrorist Assemblages (pp. 1-36). Duke University Press.

Puar, J. (2013). Rethinking homonationalism. International Journal of Middle East Studies45(2), 336-339.

Puar, J. K. (2015). Homonationalism as assemblage: Viral travels, affective sexualities. Revista lusófona de estudos culturais3(1), 319-337.