Realizing Roma Rights

Realizing Roma Rights

Realizing Roma Rights

Realizing Roma Rights


Realizing Roma Rights investigates anti-Roma racism and documents a growing Roma-led political movement engaged in building a more inclusive and just Europe. The book brings to the forefront voices of leading and emerging Romani scholars, from established human rights experts to policy and advocacy leaders with deep experience.

Realizing Roma Rights offers detailed accounts of anti-Roma racism, political and diplomatic narratives chronicling the development of European and American policy, and critical examination of Roma-related discourse and policies in contemporary Europe. It also investigates the complex role of the European Union as a driver of progressive change and a flawed implementer of fundamental rights.

This book will provide a useful source for those interested in the dynamics of contemporary stigma and discrimination, the enduring challenges of mobilizing within severely disempowered communities, and the complexities of regional and transnational human rights mechanisms. Spanning as it does a broad disciplinary range that encompasses law, history, sociology, political theory, critical race theory, human rights, organization theory, and education, Realizing Roma Rights is a useful teaching tool for interdisciplinary courses on human rights, racism and xenophobia, political theory, European studies, and minority issues.


Jacqueline Bhabha

The Roma scholar Ian Hancock opens his classic book The Pariah Syndrome with a remarkable quotation from the work of Sam Beck, an American and fellow scholar about his fieldwork in Romania: “Romanians who are in administrative government and political positions of authority, explain the Tsigani [a racial slur for the Roma] situation by referring to America. ‘You know,’ they say, ‘The Tsigani are like your Negroes: foreign, lazy, shiftless, untrustworthy and black.’” Virulent and deep-seated racial hatred is only one of the commonalities linking these two large minorities in the world’s richest continents. a recent history of centuries-old slavery and the persistence of dramatic contemporary social and economic disadvantage and marginalization are others.

But alongside the commonalities, there are notable differences. the eminent U.S. civil rights advocate and constitutional law expert Jack Greenberg notes that “for much of their histories, the Roma in Eastern Europe and African Americans traversed similar paths…. During World War II… their paths forked.” He notes the contrast between the development of the civil rights movement and antisegregation legal victories in the United States on the one hand, and the lack of political visibility and concomitant social marginalization and educational segregation of East European Roma on the other. From the perspective of this book, which aims to bring Roma rights issues to the foreground for an international readership interested in contemporary human rights challenges, other differences are also striking and relevant.

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