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Between Self-Determination and ‘Collective-Identity Closure’

  • Riccardo Armillei
Chapter
Part of the Mapping Global Racisms book series (MGR)

Abstract

This chapter provides a new perspective on the Romani issue by arguing that the ‘camp’ should be seen not only as a tool for institutional control and segregation, and an incubator of criminal activity, violence and poverty, but also as a space whose products include self-ghettoisation, collective-identity closure and resistance, the contestation of power and expression of agency. The meeting of state and ‘camp dwellers’ has not actually produced a definite seat of power and a passive subject, respectively. Most writing on the topic emphasises the superior power of the State and its sub-contracted CSOs, which in effect exercise sovereignty over the population and civic status of the ‘Romanies of the camps’. However, this addresses only one aspect of the power relationship. The ‘Romanies of the camps’ and their ‘Gadje’ antagonists are not presented as part of a ‘powerful’/’powerless’ dichotomy, where actors are fixed and polarised in restrictive categories. Although relations between the State, the CSOs and the Romani residents are shaped by an unequal struggle, the opposition between ‘rulers’ and ‘ruled’ gives rise to a cycle of power and resistance.

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Authors and Affiliations

  • Riccardo Armillei
    • 1
  1. 1.Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation (ADI)Deakin UniversityBurwoodAustralia

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