Accepted Paper:

State racism, nationalism, and securitization: anti-Roma violence in postnational Europe  

Author:

Erin McElroy (University of California, Santa Cruz)

Paper short abstract:

Contemporary discourses of European state securitization reify the imaginary of the immigrant-terrorist-enemy, a conflation that sanctions violence upon heterogeneous Roma communities. How do the apprehensions of the postnational state reinforce nationalist and continental xenophobias?

Paper long abstract:

Long 'Othered' within the continent, Roma have historically been perceived as threatening to European constructs of its own purity. Eastern Europe, in desiring assimilation into the West, endeavors to eradicate its own difference, either by enforcing state policies that calcify raced and classed societal stratification, by granting impunity to nationalist vigilante groups that target Others, or by implementing liberal integration policies that seek to assimilate Roma difference into artifacts recognizable to the West.

Within the last decade, supranational securitization has emerged as an additional site upon which formations of European governance can impose anti-Roma policy and discourse. Securitization of European nation-state borders is rendered as a political imperative that both discursively and ideologically reifies the 'immigrant-terrorist-enemy', a conflation that sanctions violence upon heterogeneous Roma communities across the continent. Post-Communist socio-economic conditions, the rise of Islamaphobia in the West, and shifting relationships between Eastern and Western European states within the EU collectively consolidates this violence.

This paper will look at emerging forms of violence that Roma are facing, making use of both archival research and of counter-narratives of Romanian Roma in Eastern Europe and the diaspora who, despite efforts to transgress the confines of state and continental racism, remain circumscribed by it. How do the politico-economic and psychosocial apprehensions of the postnational state reinforce nationalist and continental xenophobias?

Panel W076
Anxious sovereignties