The European Romani movement revisited


Citizenship Studies has just published a thought provoking review essay by Huub van Baar on recent work on the emergence of the Romani movement, the EU and neoliberalism. The essay reviews three recent books on the topic: Romani Politics in Contemporary Europe edited by Nando Sigona and Nidhi Trehan (Palgrave, 2009); The Romani Movement by Peter Vermeersch(Berghahn, 2006) and Who Speaks for the Roma? by Aidan McGarry(Continuum, 2010).

van Baar’s main interest is to suggest novel ways to understand Romani political movement in the EU and move toward a politics of Roma’s representation beyond hegemonic neoliberalism. In such endeavour, he challenges current understandings on the relationship between grassroots and elitist mobilisation among Roma, the relationship between neoliberalism and human rights, and contribution of international NGOs and supranational institutions to the definition of EU agenda on the Roma issue.

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The Roma and the EU: a book review

“I would recommend this book to those who may be tempted to see Romani issues only in terms of localised ethnic mobilisations and of increasing racialised violence, as well as to anyone interested in issues around European citizenship, or in understanding the parallel evolution of human rights discourses and neoliberal policy” (Katheirne Hepworth, 2011).

The Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies has published a very positive review of Romani Politics in Contemporary Europe (Sigona and Trehan, Palgrave 2009). Besides the overall positive assessment of the collection, it is particularly pleasing thethe ability of the reviewer, Katherine Hepworth, to crystallise in a few words the originality and uniqueness of the work and its aspiration to mainstream the debate on Romani politics. As the reviewer rightly notices, the book aims to show how relevant the situation of the Roma and their political trajectory is to understand current transformations in the EU and to unpack the intimate link between neoliberal policies and the affirmation of the human rights regime as dominant frame to understand and address the ‘Roma issue’.

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Book review in the Journal of Common Market Studies

“This book offers an important contribution to the study of the political mobilization of Europe’s Roma community by simultaneously adopting a multidisciplinary and in-depth analytical treatment of the topic”

Read the book review by Boyka Stefanova, The University of Texas at San Antonio.

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Neoliberalism and anti-Gypsyism

The latest issue of the French journal ‘Lignes‘ is dedicated to the Roma issue and offers a critical analysis of current discourses, policies and practices to govern the Romani minorities in France and Europe. Contributors include: Etienne Balibar, Jacques Ranciere, Jean-Loup Amselle and Cecile Canut. My contribution (co-authored with Nidhi Trehan) looks at the link between neoliberalism and anti-Gypsyism in Europe.

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Book review in Romani Studies

Sigona and Trehan situate their critique within the parameters of neoliberalism, which is an original contribution to Romani studies… The volume is theoretically engaging and empirically robust

Read the book review of Romani Politics by Aidan McGarry in Romani Studies, volume 20, n.2, 203-212

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The EU, the Roma and Sarkozy

Listen to Nando Sigona talking (in Italian) on the conflict between the EU Commission and some member states over the treatment of Romani migrants on Radio Uno (Switzerland) and WDR (Germany).

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Viviane Reding on Sarkozy’s attack on Romani migrants

The statement by Viviane Reding on the French Roma expulsions is to be found on the Statewatch site, at

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The Vienna Review

The Vienna Review on Romani politics in Contemporary Europe:

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The status of the Romani communities in Europe: IBT in conversation with Sigona and Trehan

The International Bussiness Times runs a long interview in two parts with Nando Sigona and Nidhi Trehan on the situation of Romani communities in Europe:

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RP on Ethnic and Racial Studies

See Giovanni Picker’s review of RP on the current issue of Ethnic and Racial Studies.

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