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Romani Minorities in Europe and Civic Marginalisation

Numerous scholars and policymakers have highlighted the predicament of Roma as the most disadvantaged ethnic minority in Europe. This predicament has often been discussed as an unfortunate anomaly within otherwise inclusive liberal democratic states.

In this book, Julija Sardelić offers a novel socio-legal enquiry into the position of Roma as marginalised citizens in Europe. Whilst acknowledging previous research on ethnic discrimination, racism and the socio-economic disadvantages Roma face in Europe, she discusses civic marginalisation from the perspective of global citizenship studies. She argues that the Romani minorities in Europe are unique, but the approaches of civic marginalisation Roma have faced are not. States around the globe have applied similar legislation and policies that have made traditionally settled minorities marginalised. These may have seemed inclusive to all citizens or have been designed to improve the position of minority citizens yet they have often actively contributed to the construction of civic marginalisation. The book looks at civic marginalisation by examining topics such as free movement and migration, statelessness and school segregation as well as how minorities respond to marginalisation. It shows how marginalised minorities can have a wide spectrum of ‘multicultural rights’ and still face racism and significant human rights violations. To understand such a paradox, Sardelić offers new theoretical concepts, such as the invisible edges of citizenship and citizenship fringes.

Open Access (free)
Reflecting on citizenship from the fringe
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This book has contemplated the position of Roma as citizens in Europe. Whilst acknowledging ethnic discrimination and anti-Roma racism, as well as the socio-economic disadvantage that Roma face in some of world's most developed states, 1 it has explored the position of Romani minorities from the perspective of citizenship studies. Through a socio-legal analysis of (inter)national legislation and policies, it has focused on civic marginalisation: it has examined how states and international

in The Fringes of Citizenship
School segregation of Romani children
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Europe and around the globe reported on the Pope's apology, among them the New York Times : ‘Pope Francis, on the last day of his trip to Romania, on Sunday asked for forgiveness on behalf of his church for the suffering endured by the Roma people, saying his heart was “weighed down by the many experiences of discrimination, segregation and mistreatment” they have experienced’ (Gillet and Horowitz, 2019 ). This was not the first time Pope Francis expressed remorse for the mistreatment of Romani minorities. Earlier in May the same year, he spoke against the violence

in The Fringes of Citizenship
Sabotage as a citizenship enactment at the fringes
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health insurance because of to a lack of personal documents. After his success in Berlin, Mujić returned to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH) as a praised actor. Yet a year later he went back to Germany, this time as an asylum seeker. Fame and success in the film industry did not improve Mujić's socio-economic position, his legal status or the ethnic discrimination he faced in being identified as belonging to a Romani minority. His family remained on the margins both in BIH as citizens and as asylum seekers in Germany. His asylum application was rejected as Germany regarded

in The Fringes of Citizenship
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recognising rights of residents and citizens alike living in all Member States. The major breakthrough that both documents brought was the extension of social and economic rights to all citizens living in another EU Member State than their own. The free movement of EU citizens was initially conceptualised as a free movement of workers in the 1957 Treaty of Rome, which through Article 48 prohibited the discrimination of workers in question: ‘Such freedom of movement shall entail the abolition of any discrimination based on nationality between workers of the Member States as

in The Fringes of Citizenship
Total infringement of citizenship
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by any State under the operation of its law’. The final aim of the renewed interest in the position of stateless people was to eradicate statelessness by 2024, that is, by the seventieth anniversary of the Convention. In order to reach this goal, the UNHCR introduced a Global Action Plan to End Statelessness 2014–2024 (UNHCR, 2014a ). The plan lists ethnic discrimination as one of the causes of the lack of nationality (UNHCR, 2014a : 14) but does not single out any particular stateless group. However, the cover of the Global Action Plan

in The Fringes of Citizenship
Open Access (free)
Strangers among citizens
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countries. Roma are mostly citizens but have been constructed as aliens and presented as Europe's own internal outsiders (Powell and Lever, 2015 ). Romani minorities have not come from ‘anywhere else’ but have been considered strangers among citizens. Romani activists around Europe have been addressing ethnic discrimination faced by Roma at least since the establishment of the World Romani Congress (later named the International Romani Union) in 1971 (Nirenberg, 2009 ; Donert, 2017 ). However, international organisations started referring to Roma as

in The Fringes of Citizenship
David McGrogan

. 69 The logic is clear: the right to water is necessary for the achievement of certain goods connected with the ICESCR’s purpose, and hence it must exist. And, as with the right to housing, from this a list of obligations flow, including to make water available, to ensure the supply is of sufficiently good quality, to ensure that is accessible, to ensure that there is no discrimination in the enjoyment of the right, and so on. 70 The third example is the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW Committee)’s interpretation of the

in Critical theory and human rights
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naming and of numbers. First, ‘Roma’ is an umbrella term for diverse populations across Europe: not all of them identify as Roma, and the term itself can unify in a common fight against discrimination, but also can be used to flatten differences among these populations and specific challenges they face in different contexts (Carrera et al ., 2019 : 29). Second, according to the EU data, Roma are the largest ethnic minority, numbering around 10 to 12 million people in Europe (European Commission, 2018c ). Nevertheless, in each individual country in Europe Romani

in The Fringes of Citizenship
David McGrogan

– for example, to reduce racial discrimination, reduce the suicide rate in Scotland, increase female political participation, or whatever it may be – cannot be achieved simply through a chain of commands running from treaty body to State party to domestic public authorities and private actors and, finally, to individuals. Achieving any societal goal is, it should go without saying, hardly that simple. A fire station cannot operate simply on the basis of a set of operational rules, no matter how complicated and detailed they might be, and the “putting out of unwanted

in Critical theory and human rights