Institute of Development Studies, IDS

Aid conditionality and the limits of a politics of sexuality

Press Release   •   Nov 01, 2011 08:38 GMT

For activists and advocates of sexual rights, the very recognition of sexuality as a valid aspect of ‘development’ or of rights itself, has been a slow and thankless battle. As such, yesterday’s statement by David Cameron warning that the British government will withhold aid from countries with homophobic policies might be seen as a ‘victory’ of sorts. However, there is something more fundamental at stake here: the idea of ‘sexuality’ as political object and the perpetration of a discourse of difference that highlights the colonial continuities in ‘development’.

On the IDS Participation, Power and Social Change Team blog today, IDS Fellow Akshay Khanna reflects on the limits of the UK government approach, and calls for policymakers to look to more creative and radical strategies in the politics of sexuality, especially those arising from the Global South, from such places as India and Brazil.