Hivos International

The LGBT movement in Peru

What are the dynamics of the Peruvian LGBT movement and what has been the influence of national and international actors in its functioning? This is the main question that Marten van den Berge, hosted by the Programme for Democracy and Global Transformation (PDGT) in Lima, will explore in the next 9 months.

The research project focuses on the internal functioning of the LGBT movement in Peru and the ways in which external actors influence these dynamics. It concentrates on mapping the different LGBT social movement organizations, it studies their different ways of collaboration, their mobilizations structures and collective action frames. In studying this internal functioning, the influence of Peruvian institutionalised politics and international private aid agencies will be specifically analysed. 

The overall purpose of the knowledge project is to contribute to an understanding of organising dynamics in the struggle for sexual rights in Peru specifically and in developing countries in general. By focussing on collective action around the LGBT theme, this research will fill the void of information left by social movement theorists who for a long time overlooked this specific type of social movement. Additionally the analyses of how the LGBT movement is influence by outside actors will contribute to the discussion about civil society building, democratization and civil driven change.

The central research question that guides this research is:

What are the dynamics of the Peruvian LGBT movement and what has been the influence of national and international actors in its functioning?

The sub-themes of the research are the following:

  1. An identification of the LGBT social movement organizations (SMOs). Under this sub-theme we will study the organizational structures of the different LGBT SMOs, study the profile of the people active in them, and identify their mission and vision statements and the methodologies they use to reach their goals.
  2. An identification of the mobilizing structures. This concerns an identification of formal and informal structures, through which the LGBT activists, mobilize and engage in collective action. We will study the ways in which the different SMOs are organised as a social movement, in which other networks they operate, which people they are able to reach and through which strategies.
  3. Identifying the collective action frames. Collective action frames concern the strategic effort by the movement to fashion shared understandings of the world and of themselves that legitimate and motivate collective action. We will study diagnostic framing (Which specific problem definitionsand attribution of blame and responsibility can be identified); prognostic framing (Which lines of action to attack the problem are being articulated?); and motivational framing (Which rationale for engaging in collective action is being used)?
  4. An analyses of the influence of political space on the LGBT movement. With political space is referred to the context that determines the political possibilities and restrictions that exist for the LGBT movement to operate in. Specifically we will concentrate on the influence of national Peruvian politics and international private aid agencies in the creation of this political space.

The first three research sub-themes will result in mapping the LGBT movement and it’s internal dynamics. The fourth sub-theme has a strong analytical aspect to it: by studying the construction of political space and its influence on the LGBT movement, we will be able to explain why certain aspects of the LGBT movement function in the way they do. This means that the internal dynamics will be studied against the background of the national political system and the functioning of private aid agencies. The history of the LGBT movement will add an important dimension when studying and analysing the movement.

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