Tamara Steger's new article on Roma social and environmental exclusion

January 7, 2015

Special Issue of Analyse & Kritik:

Environmental Justice: Empirical Concerns and Normative Reasoning

Guest-Editor: Gordon Walker

Ghettos in Slovakia.  Confronting Roma Social and Enviromental Exclusion

2014 (36) Issue 2: 229-250

Richard Filcak / Tamara Steger


More than half of the Roma population in Slovakia lives in spaces that are segregated or separated from dominant non-Roma communities. The socio-spatial marginalization of Roma is both generated and reinforced through open and discrete social processes and measures largely orchestrated by local governments, enabled by an ineffective state and reinforced by the general socio-economic policy framework. This article builds on extensive field research on predominantly Roma-occupied spaces (i.e., ‘settlements’) in Slovakia and focuses on the nature and function of Roma segregation and separation in Slovakia from an ecological socio-political, and economic standpoint. Based on Loïc Wacquant’s work on ethno-racial segregation and the concept of environmental justice, we discuss social and environmental discrimination as one of the constituent elements in understanding Roma socio-spatial marginalization and its functions, and employ the neologism, ‘hyper-osada’ as a tool to conceptually and analytically investigate the new impetus and recent trajectory of Roma segregation and separation.