Romaphobia: The Last Acceptable Racism in Europe by Dr. Aidan McGarry

May 16, 2017

This presentation explores the relationship between identity, belonging and territoriality by highlighting how spaces can stigmatise and exclude Roma communities. Romaphobia is a manifestation of racism: it is cut from the same cloth. In this presentation, I offer a comparative case study based on field research in two of the largest Roma settlements in the world, in Skopje, the capital of Macedonia and in Košice in eastern Slovakia. In both cases I will examine the role of the state in creating segregated communities and examine the impact of socio-spatial exclusion on belonging. Segregation, whether in education or in housing, is a form of exclusion and reinforces divisions in society and is based on the conviction that people are not the same, and are not equal. Segregated settlements, be they urban or rural, result in inadequate or interrupted access to schooling, fewer opportunities to hear about work or to use public transport to get to work. Whilst segregation is a manifestation of Romaphobia, this presentation highlights the causes of anti-Roma prejudice and argues that the nation-state actively excludes Roma to bolster its political power. 

The seminar will be streamed online on Friday, May 19 2017 10:00-13:00 :

Dr. Aidan McGarry is a Principal Lecturer in Politics at the University of Brighton, UK. His research has been published in Nationalities Papers, Social Movement Studies, Critical Social Policy, Ethnopolitics, Ethnicities, Ethnic and Migration Studies, amongst others. He is the author of two books: Who Speaks for Roma? Political Representation of a Transnational Minority Community (2010: Continuum) and Romaphobia: The Last Acceptable Racism in Europe (2017: Zed). He has also co-edited two books: The Politics and Discourses of Migration in Europe (2013: Palgrave) and, with James Jasper, The Identity Dilemma: Social Movements and Collective Identity (2015: Temple University Press). He is currently the Principal Investigator of a £250,000 Arts and Humanities Research Council project ‘Aesthetics of Protest’ which explores the intersection between art, protest and social media.