Citizens Like No Other. Contextual and Individual Explanations of Attitudes towards Roma Population in the EU

Wednesday, June 26, 2013
2.04 (Binnengasthuis)
Barbulescu Roxana , Social and Political Science, European University Institute
Laurie Beaudonnet , Political Science, Universite de Montreal
This paper examines the sources for anti-Roma attitudes in the enlarged EU 27. Historically, the Roma population has been one of Europe’s most marginalized and persecuted minorities. More recently, Roma reappeared on the agenda of national and European politics, concentrating public resentment and political attention. Recent research has shown that the European migrants usually benefit from an "insider" status, leading to less negative attitudes,  in comparison to non-EU nationals. We argue that it is not the case for Roma. We investigate the individual and contextual explanations for this hierarchy in attitudes, relying on the 2008 European Value Survey. Using multilevel analysis, we study the impact of Roma issue salience in public discourse as well as the size of the Roma population living in the country. We pay a particular attention to potential cleavages between Eastern and Western European Member-States. At the individual level, we test the effects of perceived economic versus cultural threats on negative attitudes towards Roma and study socio-economic profiles that underlie such attitudes. To our knowledge, this paper is the first study to systematically explore the sources for anti-Roma attitudes across European societies
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