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Colloquium: Kristopher Velasco, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Princeton University

October 11, 2023 @ 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Queering Repression: How the Global Crackdown on Civil Society Affects LGBT+ NGO Foundings

Civil society organizations are instrumental in expanding support for LGBT+ communities. But now, a significant number of states are enacting policies repressing civil society, generally, and LGBT+ organizations, specifically. What effect are these policies having? We address this question by utilizing an original dataset of LGBT+ NGO foundings across 172 countries. Using quasi-Poisson models with two-way fixed effects, we assess how various repressive policies affect subsequent foundings of new NGOs between 2000 and 2017. Our findings, robust to additional synthetic controls, reveal that these repressive policies generally have no association with NGO foundings. However, this is due to differential effects: repressive policies boost advocacy-oriented NGOs but diminish health-focused ones. Finally, we draw on interviews with LGBT+ NGO leaders in Singapore and Ghana to elucidate underlying mechanisms driving our results. This longitudinal study contributes new insights into how the global crackdown on civil society is affecting domestic, not just international, NGOs.



Kristopher Velasco (he/him/his) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology. His research lies at the intersections of global & transnational sociology, organizations, political sociology, culture, and sexuality. Kristopher’s research is driven by one overarching question: how do organizations and institutions facilitate social and cultural change?

Kristopher addresses this question at two scales. Globally, he investigates how transnational advocacy networks, NGOs, and international institutions facilitate the expansion of LGBTI rights around the world by changing cultural understandings of gender and sexuality. This line of research, and the backlash these processes invite, is the subject of Kristopher’s current book project. Domestically, he examines the cultural dimensions of nonprofit organizations (e.g., language use, emotionality, etc.) and how these attributes influence wider society, especially when it comes to normalizing diverse sexual and gender identities.

Kristopher’s research has been published in the American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Social Forces, and International Studies Quarterly, among others. Additionally, Kristopher has received awards for his research from the American Sociological Association, American Political Science Association, International Studies Association, Academy of Management, and the Ford Foundation.



  • B.A. University of Kansas and M.A.
  • Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.


October 11, 2023
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


UNC Social Forces
View Organizer Website


Hamilton Hall, Conference Room 271
102 Emerson DR
CHAPEL HILL, NC 27707 United States
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