Roma marginalization and local under-development

The contextual research on “Faces and Causes of Roma Marginalization in Local Settings” identified a series of intersecting factors in Romanian localities that (re)produce the ethno-spatial segregation or separation of Roma. These sometimes are interwoven with economic deprivation or extreme poverty. By analyzing data collected in 25 settlements (placed in five of the eight Romanian development regions) our aim was to offer insights into the ways advanced marginality created economically deprived and excluded (Romani) communities at local level.

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As post-socialist Romania aligned to the current global trends of neoliberalism, inclusion and exclusion (of Roma) reflect a new societal order also manifested in spatial (urban) arrangements. This order privileges the winners of the privatization and marketization of public goods, and it is inclusive for people, places, and societal areas that might be better included into the political economy of capitalism (as a labour force, as geographical zones worthy of investment, as domains which deserve development – all of these as sources of profit). But it is exclusive towards those who were rendered “surplus” and “needless” from the point of view of those in power and of the capital, or who became so vulnerable that their labour rights could be exploited due to their socio-spatial position, wedged in between the borders of legality and human dignity.