Race, justice, solidarity: addressing anti-Roma Racism in contemporary Europe

Graduate Program (& Advanced Certificate) Status

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Course Code: 
RSP 5065
Course Description: 

The growing literature on racial justice in the field of political theory usually tracks the legacy of colonialism and imperialism, white settlement and African slavery, that systematically privileges ‘whites’ globally, and that needs to be ‘repaired’. The moral grounding and forms of reparations are highly debated not only in academia but in countless political fora. However, both academic and political debates have largely taken place in post-colonial contexts and ignored the enduring forms of injustice Romani peoples face.

In the course we are going to assess the relevance of normative debates around racial justice for the case of Roma in two steps. First, arguments on the forms, desirability, and feasibility of reparations are reviewed. Some scholars distinguish remembrance, reconciliation, restorative justice, and reparations. The United Nations distinguishes five forms of reparations: restitution, compensation, rehabilitation, satisfaction, and guarantees of non-repetition. We discuss the relation between racial justice and democratic solidarity. Second, contemporary academic and political debates on anti-gypsyism are assessed in light of the literature on racial justice. To what extent and under what conditions can social and education policies remedy enduring racial injustice? What is the relation between social inclusion and tackling anti-gypsyism? Who and on what grounds can demand racial justice on behalf of Roma? Who have benefited from the exploitation of Roma and who bear responsibility for past and present forms of oppression? What are the responsibilities of so-called post-socialist states, churches, companies, settlements? To what extent is it desirable and feasible to tackle white privilege in Eastern Europe?