1st Edition

The Political Economy of Extreme Poverty in Eastern Europe A Comparative Historical Perspective of Romanian Roma

    240 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book examines the creation of extreme poverty in East Europe, focusing on Romanian Roma, through a comparative historical perspective on its roots and the socio-economic and political mechanisms that have shaped it in labor, housing, and migration.

     This interdisciplinary book explores the (re)production of extreme poverty among the Roma across different political economy regimes. Chapters engage in comparative historical analysis across several disciplines and integrate perspectives steeped at the national level of analysis with those dwelling intensively on a single context. Focusing on the processes of manufacturing poverty among Roma in Romania, the chapters cover empirical information about the historical transformations of the economic situation of the Roma in Romania from the 19th century to the present, about global, national, and local processes of industrialization, deindustrialization, and reindustrialization impacting poverty among the Roma in the past seven decades, and about Roma people’s current labor positions, housing conditions, and migration practices in distinct geographies from Romania to Norway. 

    The book situates Roma poverty research in a Central and East European context by highlighting its connections with analytical approaches to poverty and institutional policy visions about poverty eradication. It will be of interest to researchers studying Central and Eastern Europe, political economy of socialism, political economy of capitalist transformations, poverty studies, welfare and housing regimes studies, and labor and migration studies.

    IntroductionChapter 1. On the Fringes of Mainstream: Assessing the Extreme Poverty of the Roma people in Romania. A Historical PerspectiveChapter 2. Economic Dependency, Race, and Industrial Labor Shifts in an East European (Semi)Periphery: The Case of the Roma in Late Socialist RomaniaChapter 3. Premature deindustrialization and postsocialist Roma poverty: The political economy of unskilled laborChapter 4. Roma racialization and housing unevenness in Romania across political economy regimes; Chapter 5. From the Crisis of Socialism to European Integration: Political (Macro)economy and Poverty in Romania (1990-2023)Chapter 6. The flexibility and mobility of labor, the temporality of industrial life and the reproduction of poverty under capitalisme; Chapter 7. Ethnicity matters: Transnational labor migration in a Romanian postsocialist peripheryChapter 8. Migration and street work among marginalized Roma: From livelihood strategies in Romania to political realities in NorwayChapter 9. Poverty and the Roma as a Lasting Entanglement in Central and Eastern EuropeIndex


    Enikő Vincze is professor of sociology and urban studies at Babeș-Bolyai University, Romania. She co-edited Racialized Labour in Romania. Spaces of Marginality at the Periphery of Global Capitalism (2018), and Uneven Real Estate Development in Romania at the Intersection of Deindustrialization and Financialization (forthcoming, Routledge).

    Cornel Ban is associate professor of International Political Economy at Copenhagen Business School, Denmark. His book, Ruling Ideas: How Neoliberalism Goes Local (2016) received the political economy award for 2017 of the British International Studies Association. His research interests are international political economy, sociology of institutions and professions, and comparative political economy.

    Sorin Gog is lecturer at the Sociology Department of the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, Babeș-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca, Romania. He is the author of multiple studies on Roma marginality, capitalist transformations and neoliberal subjectivities. He is a co-editor of Spirituality, organization and neoliberalism: understanding lived experiences (2020).

    Jon Horgen Friberg is researcher, professor, and sociologist working at the Fafo Institute for Labour and Social Research in Oslo, Norway. His research interests are related to international migration and immigrant integration, focusing on labor markets, educational systems, social inequality, poverty and welfare, as well as on issues of identity, religion, and cultural change in multiethnic societies. Using both qualitative and quantitative methods, Friberg has an extensive track record of international scientific publications.