Developing an Effective Romani Integration Strategy: Experiences of Ethnoculturally Neutral and Specific Policies in the Czech Republic
By Laura Cashman
Volume 8, Issue 3, pages 595-618
While the question of how to integrate Romani communities has increased in political significance since the 1990s, a consensus has yet to be reached on how best to design integration policies for such a heterogeneous group of people. This article examines debates on whether ethnoculturally specific or neutral policies are more appropriate. Using the Czech Romani integration policy as a case study, it identifies as a significant problem the conflation of the Romani ethnic identity with the low socio-economic status of many (but not all) Roma. This has led to a policy focus on programmes to tackle social deprivation rather than addressing the discrimination which affects all Roma regardless of class. As a consequence of the decentralisation of power in the Czech Republic and the ingrained nature of anti-Romani prejudice, policies, whether ethnoculturally neutral or specific, will be implemented or rejected at the local level on the basis of local priorities.
Read the full article here.