From Roma to Squatters: Ambiguity and Urban Solidarity During the Economic Crisis

  • Gaja MaestriEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in European Political Sociology book series (PSEPS)


This chapter looks at the recent developments in political contention around the Italian Roma camps in Rome. In the last years, an increasing number of Roma have joined political squats set up by urban squatting movements. The chapter introduces ‘Roma squatting’ as a new repertoire of action that emerged in the aftermath of the 2007–2008 economic crisis, which bypasses the ethnicisation of Roma claims through a new alliance with other marginalised categories. It then illustrates how the ambiguity of the Roma policy categorisation has opened up new opportunities, allowing the Roma, who present themselves as squatters, to escape segregation in Roma camps. The third part of the chapter unpacks the process of becoming Roma-squatters: it considers four housing squats that include Roma groups, two of which were evicted while other two are still open. While the book broadly tackles the question of camp persistence, the last section of this chapter examines the spatial and discursive factors that contribute to the enduring of these new spaces of solidarity.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Media, Communication and SociologyUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK

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