Western Donors, Romani Organizations, and Uses of the Concept of Nation after 1989

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Published Dec 11, 2020
Douglas Neander Sambati

Abstract

This article discusses the relationship between Western donors and Romani and Romani-friendly organizations in Central and Eastern Europe after 1989. Based on literature review, interviews, reports, and websites, this paper upholds that the burst of Romani and Romani-friendly organizations in Central and Eastern Europe after 1989 primarily was made possible by financial support and expertise coming from Western organizations. Together with their work methodology, so-called donors took their own framework on  understanding groupings and enforced the concept of nation upon Gypsy/Romani populations. Therefore, Western donors and Romani activists and intellectuals alike essentialized (claimed) Gypsy/Romani traits in order to support a nation-building rhetoric. These Romani activists and intellectuals, in turn, are a legacy of policies from planned economies, and they actually might represent Gypsy/Romani communities from a privileged perspective – no longer fully insiders but as a vanguard.

How to Cite

Sambati, D. N. (2020). Western Donors, Romani Organizations, and Uses of the Concept of Nation after 1989. Critical Romani Studies, 3(1), 26–45. https://doi.org/10.29098/crs.v3i1.52
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Keywords

Essentialization, Roma, Donors, Nationalism

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