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Roma inclusion post Brexit: a challenge to existing rhetoric?

Zoë James (School of Law, Criminology and Government, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK)
David Smith (Department of Psychology Social Work and Counselling, University of Greenwich, London, UK)

Safer Communities

ISSN: 1757-8043

Article publication date: 9 October 2017




This paper proposes that the UKs exit from the EU is unlikely to impact heavily on the lived reality of Roma, given its negligible impact prior to Brexit. The paper sets out a critique of existing EU approaches to anti-Gypsyism that are based in discourses of racism and anti-nomadism and are typified in the EU hate crime agenda. The paper argues for recognition of the systemic social harms caused by discrimination against Roma in the EU and the commonality of their experience with other socially excluded groups that do not conform to the requirements of contemporary neoliberal capitalism. The paper aims to discuss these issues.


The paper comprises an opinion piece that sets out a critical examination of existing literature on policy and research in Romani studies and utilises theoretical work within criminology and social policy.


The paper explains the inability of existing EU approaches to tackle social harms experienced by Roma throughout the EU. In doing so it suggests that the UKs exit from the EU may not have a significant impact on Roma in the UK.


The paper challenges extant discourses and proposes new ways of thinking about anti-Gypsyism.



James, Z. and Smith, D. (2017), "Roma inclusion post Brexit: a challenge to existing rhetoric?", Safer Communities, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 186-195.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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