Critical Approaches to Policy Making towards Roma in Europe

Academic Year: 
Course Description: 

Elective course; Cross-listed from Romani Studies Program

Over the last twenty-five years, numerous policy initiatives have been launched to address the situation of Europe's Roma. Despite the increasing number of policy measures and initiatives targeting the Roma in Europe, their position in terms of socio-economic indicators has continued to worsen. This condition embodies a policy paradox that requires answers from policymakers, activists and academics.

 This course frames understanding of the limited impact of these policies through reference to their failure to take into consideration the crucial importance of Romani ethnic identity as a causal factor. Using critical social theories - critical race theory, policy design theory, feminist theories, etc. - the course analyses the way policymaking towards Roma in Europe accommodated Roma ethnic identity. The focus will be on the EU Framework for Roma Integration, but past policies towards Roma in Europe in the last 25 years will also be analyzed. 

Learning Outcomes: 

The aim of this course is to develop student knowledge of Roma history, policies of exclusion and inclusion, and different relevant concepts and theories in order to achieve the following learning outcomes:   

  •  Ability to critically analyze measures and policies towards Roma and other ethnic and vulnerable groups, including models to manage ethnic diversity;
  • Understanding of the importance of incorporating minorities in policy-making, and of framing policy around principles of equality and non-discrimination in practice and implementation;  
  • Skills to initiate and draft recommendations on the social inclusion of vulnerable groups, and develop basic social inclusion plans towards Roma and other vulnerable groups;
  • Ability to design research plans for Roma related research topics or apply critical social theories to Roma policies. 

Students must attend and participate in all the classes. Make up assignments will be allocated in the case of medically certified absence. Assessment is based on individual and group based assignments, allocated as participation during the classes 15%, presentations 35% and a final paper 50%.