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Title: Jurisdiction in gender recognition : governing legal embodiment
Author: Dietz, Christopher Paul
ISNI:       0000 0004 6349 7579
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis examines the impact of the adoption of legislation premised upon the ‘self-declaration model’ of legal gender recognition, which allows legal subjects to make a personal declaration of their gender status and have this granted legal effect. It presents findings from an in-depth fieldwork visit to interrogate how self-declaration is working in Denmark, the first European state to have adopted it in June 2014. These findings draw upon doctrinal analysis of various legislative materials, including parliamentary debates, as well as empirical interviews conducted with 33 respondents – including trans people, activists, politicians, civil servants, and medical practitioners – over the course of the three-month visit. These interviews sought to establish how respondents were professionally involved in, or personally affected by, the process of these reforms. By reading this interview material through a Foucauldian framework which brings socio-, feminist, and trans legal scholarship on embodiment and governance together in an innovative manner, the thesis provides the first empirically-based and theoretically-informed analysis of how self-declaration of legal gender status is working in practice. It argues that jurisdictional boundaries were established and maintained throughout the reform process, limiting the implementation of self-declaration to the administrative sphere. Authorising these boundaries between civil and medical institutions had serious consequences for trans people’s legal consciousness; as a restriction of access to body modification technologies could be justified at the same point in time as the regulations around amending legal gender status were being liberalised. With the list of states that have adopted the self-declaration model now including Argentina, Malta, Colombia, the Republic of Ireland, and Norway – and with Sweden and now the United Kingdom apparently on course to follow – this intervention offers activists and policymakers critical insights which might shape how they respond to these, and other, reform proposals in the future.
Supervisor: Wallbank, Julie ; Thomson, Michael Sponsor: ESRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available