Published online by Cambridge University Press: 19 July 2021
Chapter 2 lays out the theoretical and methodological approach for the analysis. The study draws on discourse analysis, understanding the category of homosexuality to be a construction built on an ‘external dimension’ (a regime of acts) and an ‘internal dimension’ (identity). Queer theory provides insights into the interplay of this act/identity distinction, which functions as an unstable dichotomy where sometimes one is favoured and sometimes the other. Within this system, the gay person is caught in a delicate situation, faced with contradictory expectations as to their ‘discretion’ and disclosure, while at the same time never in full control of what others know about their sexuality. In terms of methodological approach, the analysis is based on discourse analysis on refugee law doctrine. Unlike a classical doctrinal analysis seeking the right legal answer, this study is interested in the ways in which legal doctrine is constructed. Three case studies add an empirical element from the Common European Asylum System: sexuality-based asylum claims from Germany, France and Spain are submitted to analysis.