The Silenced Citizens of Russia

Kondakov, A. 2014. "The Silenced Citizens of Russia: Exclusion of Non-heterosexual Subjects from Rights-Based Citizenship." Social & Legal Studies, 23(2): 151-174.


This article draws attention to how citizenship, informed by heteronormativity, is represented in politics, judiciary and public social practices in Russia. I argue that the observed discursive reality affects construction of heteronormative citizenship that restricts full inclusion of lesbians and gay men via silencing. The ideas of the article are taken from literature on citizenship and two empirical research studies that I conducted in 2010 and 2011–2012. The first is dedicated to the uncovering of discursive effects of political argumentation in Russia. The second study centres on the accounts of lesbians and gay men themselves regarding their citizenship rights. Both studies give rise to concerns about Soviet legacy in contemporary Russian debates on homosexuality. This idea is supported by an analysis of that historical context that may be grasped from empirical studies of the Soviet.