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The Rights of the Roma
The Struggle for Citizenship in Postwar Czechoslovakia


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Part of Human Rights in History

  • Date Published: December 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107176270

£ 78.99

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About the Authors
  • The Rights of the Roma writes Romani struggles for citizenship into the history of human rights in socialist and post-socialist Eastern Europe. If Roma have typically appeared in human rights narratives as victims, Celia Donert here draws on extensive original research in Czech and Slovak archives, sociological and ethnographic studies, and oral histories to foreground Romani activists as subjects and actors. Through a vivid social and political history of Roma in Czechoslovakia, she provides a new interpretation of the history of human rights by highlighting the role of Socialist regimes in constructing social citizenship in postwar Eastern Europe. The post-socialist human rights movement did not spring from the dissident movements of the 1970s, but rather emerged in response to the collapse of socialist citizenship after 1989. A timely study as Europe faces a major refugee crisis which raises questions about the historical roots of nationalist and xenophobic attitudes towards non-citizens.

    • Demonstrates the centrality of the Romani experience to understanding the history of citizenship, statelessness, genocide and minority rights in contemporary Europe
    • Contributes a new perspective to histories of citizenship and the legacies of genocide in postwar Europe
    • Provides a history of Roma in Czechoslovakia based on a wide range of local archives, ethnographies, memoirs and interviews
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    • Finalist, 2017 Ernst Fraenkel Prize, The Wiener Library

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Donert places the lives of Roma in twentieth-century Czechoslovakia within the larger context of citizenship and human rights. What results is a superbly researched history that resonates far beyond this small country's borders.' Paulina Bren, Vassar College, New York

    'The Rights of Roma is the best work available on the history of Roma in twentieth-century Europe. Donert's powerful social and political history of the Romani population simultaneously forces us to rethink our understanding of Socialism, minority rights, and human rights in twentieth century Czechoslovakia.' Tara Zahra, University of Chicago

    'Histories of Roma in Eastern Europe have often focussed on their experience as victims: in this important work, Donert provides a much more complex and intriguing account, not only highlighting their varied idealisation and suppression by a socialist state, but also giving them agency as advocates for their own rights under socialism. This will be invaluable reading for those interested in understanding the historical roots of Roma issues in contemporary post-Communist Europe.' James Mark, University of Exeter

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107176270
    • length: 308 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.57kg
    • contains: 13 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Legacies of 1919
    2. Stalinist Gypsy workers
    3. But Roma are rural!
    4. Cracking down on nomadism
    5. Politics get personal
    6. Prague Spring for Roma
    7. Human rights, minority rights, Roma rights
    8. Losing rights after 1989

  • Author

    Celia Donert, University of Liverpool
    Celia Donert is Senior Lecturer at the University of Liverpool. She received her Ph.D. from the European University Institute, Florence, and has held research fellowships in Berlin, Bratislava, Paris, Potsdam, and Prague.


    • Finalist, 2017 Ernst Fraenkel Prize, The Wiener Library

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