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Achieving Equality in Progressive Contexts: Queer(Y)Ing Public Administration

PAQ, Vol. 44 No. 4, 545-577 (2020)

In many countries, including the UK, the majority of legal impediments to equality for LGBT+ people have been removed, and legislation actively promotes equality for LGBT+ people. While a great deal of research and activism through public administration remains, rightly, focused on achieving political and legal equality in states where this is the case, we suggest that in progressive contexts research and scholarship now needs to move to “queerying" everyday public administration. Through an empirical study of housing and homelessness services in Scotland, UK, we show that the insights of queer theory, used to unpack the everyday ways in which administrative processes (re)create compulsory heterosexuality, as well as the continued direct and indirect discrimination LGBT+ service users may face, can open-up a new research agenda for public administration where queer theory can be applied more widely.

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