College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences Theses and Dissertations

Full Title of Thesis or Dissertation

Negotiating difference: the Roma and European-ness

Graduation Date


Document Type


Department/Program Conferring Degree

International Studies


Roma, Europe, European-ness, othering, security


The Roma are considered one of the most marginalized groups in all of Europe. Despite integration policies introduced by the European Union, their status as outsiders has remained consistent throughout the EU's member states. My aim in this thesis is to examine the relationship between the notion of European-ness and the Roma. I argue that the Roma problematize the idea of European-ness because they show that European-ness relies on the presence of a constitutive Other in order to construct itself. In Chapter 2, I analyze European-ness and the ways in which it is constructed. I conclude that European-ness is a fragile construction which relies on practices of exclusion. In Chapter 3, I analyze the ways in which Roma identity has been presented in various discourses including academic sources, political discourse and studies of Roma self-identification. Examining these sources shows that Roma identity is presented as singular and homogenous, when it is actually heterogenous. The simplistic representation of Roma identity makes it easier to juxtapose the Roma against the rest of Europe. In Chapter 4, I examine the securitization of the Roma in France. Securitization is a modern form of Othering which helps to construct the idea of European-ness.