Philosophy and Critical Theory

School segregation of Romani children

Chapter 3 focuses on the ‘making of citizens’ through education. Education in liberal democracies represents a possible corrective mechanism for inequalities among future citizens. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds should get an equal chance for inclusion into society through the education system. However, the chapter argue that in practice education can also be structured in such a way that it actively creates the fringes of citizenship. Using an intersectional reading, this chapter analyses how states justify school segregation of Romani children as a legitimate measure. It looks at four cases of school segregation at the European Court of Human Rights: D.H. and Others v. the Czech Republic (2007), ‘Sampanis and Others v. Greece (2008), Oršuš and Others v. Croatia (2010) and Sampani and Others v. Greece (2012) – to argue that state discourses either denied the existence of segregation or portrayed it as a beneficial measure for Romani children to ‘catch up’ with the majority language. The chapter compares these cases with the reasoning present in US court cases on African American children and school segregation. It shows that in the US case segregation was legal on paper, whilst in the European cases segregation was prohibited. Still, in both cases segregation remains as one of the fringes of citizenship both for Roma and African American children.

in The Fringes of Citizenship
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Reflecting on citizenship from the fringe

The Conclusion summarises the main findings of all the previous chapters in order to theoretically grasp the invisible edges of citizenship and the fringes of citizenship. It concludes that in order to understand marginalisation further research on the structural mechanisms leading to marginalisation needs to be conducted. It rejects the claim that marginalisation is incidental and directly points to the mechanisms that produce it. It also rejects the claim that Roma and other marginalised minorities are themselves to blame for marginalisation, discrimination and their exclusion from society, where they should be included as citizens. It discards the claim that Roma are just passive observers of their position. Rather, they do address it and subvert it: the subversion at the fringes of citizenship, I argue, also carries the potential for the reconstruction of citizenship itself to become truly inclusive and without invisible edges. The Conclusion also identifies some critical policy guidelines on how the invisible edges of citizenship could be avoided in the future.

in The Fringes of Citizenship
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.

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Strangers among citizens

The Introduction offers a new perspective and novel theoretical tools to analyse citizenship as well as what the position of Romani minorities in Europe indicates about citizenship in liberal democratic states. Instead of looking at Roma merely as a marginalised minority or a disadvantaged group, it aims to comprehend their position as citizens.

in The Fringes of Citizenship

Chapter 2 scrutinises the connection between the right to territoriality and the mobility of marginalised minorities, particularly how the perception of Roma as a ‘deviant culture’ contributes to the forceful restriction of their rights (such as the right to free movement). State authorities limit freedom of movement for Roma because they construct them as a security threat. The chapter argues that all these cases should not be simply seen in terms of the right to mobility, but in terms of the rights certain groups have on particular territories. The chapter then examines whether there are any similarities in relation to territory and mobility in the case of Australian Indigenous people. Although both of these groups have rights on the territory, their claims have been suspended when they have been in conflict either with the sovereignty of the states or the economic interests of the states (as in the case of the Intervention in the Northern Territory in Australia). The chapter concludes that freedom of movement and territorial rights are two sides of the same coin: it is the states that grant or restrict them, and this leads to the positioning of marginalised minorities at the fringes of citizenship.

in The Fringes of Citizenship
Total infringement of citizenship

Chapter 4 looks at the position of Roma without access to citizenship: those who are stateless. 75 per cent of stateless people belong to minority groups. However, not all minorities are equally vulnerable to statelessness. Whilst most stateless minorities have no access to political rights, some have a broad scope of economic and social rights. For example, Russian speakers in the Baltic states are politically marginalised but are not at the fringes of citizenship when it comes to their socio-economic rights, but some Roma, cannot prove their citizenship and so have no rights granted whatsoever. They find themselves in a space in-between where they do not fit the definition of either a citizen or a stateless person. I call this position a total infringement of citizenship. This chapter argues that Romani individuals are not only passive observers of this infringement, but they create alternative ways to access rights denied by states. It explores how states hinder access to citizenship for certain minorities through citizenship laws and other legislation. The chapter argues that statelessness is always a product of state intervention rather than the lack of it or the lack of interest of stateless minorities to regularise their status. It first scrutinises cases where Romani individuals have found themselves with hindered access to citizenship. It then compares the position of stateless Roma with that of other stateless minorities around the globe.

in The Fringes of Citizenship
Sabotage as a citizenship enactment at the fringes

The penultimate chapter looks at how states address Roma as (active) citizens and how Roma reconstruct citizenship at its fringes as activist citizens. It exposes how fringes are created by states, by international organisations and through the everyday practices of majority populations. However, the main body of the chapter explores another meaning of the fringe: marginalised minorities on the fringe also subvert and reconstruct the core understanding of citizenship from this fringe. These acts are not necessarily only activism but also include everyday mundane practices that carry the potential of political action. I call this form of enactment as citizenship sabotage.

in The Fringes of Citizenship

Chapter 1 discusses the naming and counting of Romani minorities and approaches towards Roma as minority citizens in EU Member States and candidate countries. The Council of Europe has described Roma as ‘living scattered all over Europe, not having a country to call their own, they are a true European minority, but one that does not fit into the definitions of national or linguistic minorities’. The chapter looks at national legislation on minority protection, and examines the reports of the Council of Europe and the European Commission to analyse how they describe Roma as a transnational minority. It highlights how the documents of European international organisations, in describing the position of Roma in Europe, use developmental discourse similar to the United Nations’ narrative on Indigenous people. It argues that the invisible edges of citizenship have manifested themselves as perceived non-territorialism, and that the alleged underdevelopment of Roma has contributed to a lesser scope of minority rights in some contexts. Finally, the chapter addresses the interplay between international and national law in the context of defining the status of Indigenous people. It looks at the invisible edges of citizenship for Indigenous people in Australia, Canada and the US in the wake of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, showing that both Roma in Europe and Indigenous people in the four settler colonial states found themselves on the fringes of citizenship where states highlighted their positions as minority groups but also made them invisible as citizens.

in The Fringes of Citizenship
A poststructuralist moral theory for the twenty-first century

To understand how subjects are constructed socially and historically in terms of power, and how they act through power on others and on themselves, but not to see this as a purely random process or activity where ‘anything goes’, or conversely, portray ethical actions in terms of fixed universal rules or specified teleological ends, constitutes the objective of this book. What a normative Foucault can offer us, I claim, is a critical ethics of the present that is well and truly beyond Kant, Hegel. and Marx, and which can guide action and conduct for the twenty-first century.

Mark Olssen

Chapter 4 examines the senses in which continuance ethics derived from Foucault, Canguilhem, and Nietzsche can claim objectivity by comparing the sense of objectivity claimed to the metaphysical sense of objectivity argued for by Derek Parfit. While it is claimed that the objectivity established is certainly different to traditional metaphysical conceptions, it still warrants being labelled as objective, and is clearly not a species of subjectivism, the dominant approach in moral philosophy for most of the twentieth century. It is objective also in that it avoids any possibility of being classified as relativistic. After this cartography of the concept, Kantian ethics is considered and rejected. Life continuance is then restated as embodying a new reconciliation of the right with the good, as well as going beyond universalism to consider contingency and cultural difference as important contextual considerations.

in Constructing Foucault’s ethics