This book is the first attempt by a social scientist to explain the age-old predicament of Gypsies (or Roma), Eastern Europe's largest ethnic minority, and their relationship to the region's states and societies. Professor Barany comparatively examines the Gypsies' socioeconomic and political marginality and the 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.
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.
"It is an extremely rare occasion when a social scientist embraces the literature and research approaches of many different disciplines in a clear, concise, and well-crafted fashion. ...kudos are due to Zoltan Barany for his groundbreaking research, pioneering scholarship, and unwavering commitment to rigorous analyses of the Eastern European Roma." Journal of Politics
"New and very important is Barany's extensive coverage of Gypsy leadership on the national level in the several countries, as well as on the international level. ...Barany offers us a pioneering comparative study on a subject of considerable importance to students of Eastern Europe and of relevance to all who labor in the field of comparative politics where regime change, marginality, and ethnopolitics come to the fore." American Political Science Review
"Zoltan Barany's work represents one of the first attempts to study the Gypsies from a social-science perspectives....I recommend it highly for those interested in the place of the Roma in Eastern Europe, as well as for students of the position of minorities within the region in general." Slavic and East European Journal