Commencement of Roma civic emancipation

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The article offers a revision of the widespread belief that Romani movement was born only during the second half of 20th century. Based on the research of historical sources we will show that it has much older roots. The departing point of the research presented in this article is the circumstance that Roma are not a hermetic social and cultural system. They exist in two dimensions, both as separate ethnic communities and as a part of the macro-society in which they live within the respective nation-states. Together with members of the macro-society they experienced breakdowns of old Empires and the establishment of national states. Under the conditions of historical turbulences in the period between two World Wars, Roma developed aspirations for civil emancipation, started to be civically engaged and politically institutionalized. On the basis of archival and media sources the article introduces the first manifestation of civic activities of Roma in an attempt to pursue their ethnic and community rights and their visions about their place in society and the future of their nation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-149
JournalStudies in Arts and Humanities
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2017


  • Romani
  • Identity politics
  • Emancipation
  • Civic rights
  • Suffrage
  • Eastern


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