This 2001 book is an attempt by a social scientist to explain the predicament of Gypsies (or Roma), Eastern Europe's largest ethnic minority, and their relationship to the region's states and societies. Barany examines the Gypsies' socioeconomic and political marginality and policies toward them through seven centuries and in seven East European states. He illuminates the reasons why the Roma have consistently occupied the bottom of social, economic, and political hierarchies regardless of historical period or geographic location. Barany argues that the current nostalgia of many Gypsies for the socialist period is easy to understand, given the disastrous effect of the post-communist socioeconomic transformation on the Roma's conditions over the last decade. He explains the impact of Gypsy political mobilization, and the activities of international organizations and NGOs, on government policies. This pioneering multidisciplinary work will engage political scientists, sociologists and historians, as well as students of ethnic and racial studies.
• This is a multidisciplinary book that should be of interest to political scientists, sociologists, historians, and ethnic studies specialists • The way the book is constructed (e.g., individual chapters can stand on their own) makes it especially appropriate for classroom use in courses on Eastern Europe, minority studies, ethnic and racial studies • Rather than dealing with one country in one historical period, this book is a comparative analysis that encompasses seven centuries and seven states
Acknowledgments; Introduction; Part I. The Analytical Framework: 1. Regimes, states, and minorities; 2. Marginality and ethnic mobilization; Part II. Non-Democratic Systems and Gypsy Marginality: 3. The gypsies in imperial and authoritarian states; 4. The Roma under state-socialism; Part III. The Gypsies in Emerging Democracies: 5. The socioeconomic impact of regime change: gypsy marginality in the 1990s; 6. Romani mobilization; 7. The international dimension: migration and institutions; 8. State institutions and policies toward the gypsies; 9. Romani marginality revisited; Conclusion.