This paper discusses Romani migration to the U.K. from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) in the closing years of the twentieth century, with particular reference to the Czech and Slovak Republics. These case studies were chosen to illustrate wider points because they are the best documented, particularly with regard to illuminating sociological research on motivations for migration. Comparisons with similar migration to Canada shed further light on the situation. Refugees from these CEE countries have met a hostile reception in the U.K. It is argued here, however, that popular ignorance alone does not provide a sufficient explanation for this hostility: rather, the condemnation of Romani asylum seekers is seen as an expression of a deep-rooted and long-standing anxiety in the U.K. about immigration and its potential consequences. In spite of their relatively insignificant numbers, Roma have acted as convenient motifs in this ongoing discourse, being assigned a prominent symbolic role at a time of heightened political sensitivity.
|Translated title of the contribution||"No Soft Touch": Romani Migration to the U.K. at the Turn of the Twenty-first Century|
|Pages (from-to)||63 - 79|
|Number of pages||17|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2003|
Bibliographical notePublisher: Routledge
- SPAIS Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship