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Political representation of european Roma: european Roma organizations and the struggle for recognition

Paus, Berit Regina (2013) Political representation of european Roma: european Roma organizations and the struggle for recognition.

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Abstract:The community of European Roma constitutes the biggest ethnic minority in Europe, yet its social status and political representation remains influenced by prejudice, discrimination and social exclusion. Acknowledging the special situation of Roma as well as several dilemmas surrounding Roma existence and its political representation, this study seeks to investigate the particular extent of legislative and political representation Roma experience in Europe as well as the course of European Roma organizations being faced with the struggle for recognition. Thereby, the analysis focuses to answer two descriptive research questions, distinguishing ´how is the European minority represented in Europe” highlighting the European policy dimension of representation and ´what are the major European Roma organizations´ highlighting Roma´s representative engagement at the transnational level. The examination of the European Roma Grassroots Organizations Network, the European Roma Information Office, the European Roma Policy Coalition and the European Roma Rights Centre does not only reveal their political activities but provides insights to the discussion on the struggle for recognition. In terms of the latter, it can be observed to what extent Roma organizations apply Nancy Fraser´s status model balancing claims for redistribution and recognition. In fact, it becomes clear that despite an increased attention which is due to the Eastern Enlargement of the European Union, ambiguities between formal recognition and representation on the one side and discrimination and social exclusion on the other side remain present. Fraser´s analytical distinction between redistribution and recognition claims appears to be generally theory-bound as organizations pursue wide-ranging approaches to advocate Romani communities. After all, it is essential for Roma organizations and the European Union to further acknowledge the implications of Romani identity at the same time as the necessity for socio-economic improvements in holistic policy approaches in order to improve the lives of Roma citizens in the long run.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:European Studies BSc (56627)
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