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Sexuality, Politics and the State: A Comparative Analysis of Eugenic Policy-Making

Publié le 6 décembre 2010 Mis à jour le 29 septembre 2023

6 décembre

Véronique Mottier
(Jesus College, University of Cambridge/Université de Lausanne)
Salle Henri Janne (15ème étage)
Institut de Sociologie


This talk focuses on a specific area of public policy-making in the area of sexuality: eugenic policy-making in various European countries (1920s-1970s). More precisely, a historical analysis of eugenic policy-making will serve as a basis for theorising the role of the state in regulating and policing the reproductive sexualities, sexual practices, and sexual identities of its citizens, as well as examining the complex relations of power around sexuality, gender, ‘race’, and the state. Exploring the links between sexuality, politics and the state will lead me to argue that the notion of the state itself needs conceptual unpacking, as I shall demonstrate.


Véronique Mottier is Fellow and Director of Studies in Social and Political Sciences at Jesus College, Cambridge as well as part-time Professor in Sociology at the University of Lausanne. Her books include Sexuality (Sterling, 2010), Sexuality: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2008), and the co-edited Pflege, Stigmatisierung und Eugenik (2007), Genre et politique (Gallimard, 2000), and Politics of Sexuality: Identity, Gender, Citizenship (Routledge, 1998).