International Policy and Roma Education in Europe: Essential Inputs or Centralized Distractions?

  • Melanie H. Ram California State University, Fresno
Keywords: Roma, education, social inclusion, international organizations, European Union (EU), Mots clés, Roms, éducation, inclusion sociale, organismes internationaux, Union européenne (UE)

Abstract

This article examines the case of Roma inclusion in education as a study of the ways in which international policy can and cannot bring change at the local level. I first reflect on the numerous international organizations and initiatives to improve the educational outcomes of Roma, and to reduce segregation and other non-inclusionary practices. Given these actions—and their relatively small impact—I identify both benefits and drawbacks of international efforts to achieve Roma inclusion and improve education outcomes. I conclude that international organizations provide significant inputs for Roma inclusion, but also serve as centralized distractions that foster extremely high expectations and thus great disappointment with the results.

Cet article examine le cas de l’inclusion des Roms dans le système éducatif comme moyen d’évaluer la mesure dans laquelle la politique internationale peut effectuer des changements à l’échelle locale. Ma réflexion porte d’abord sur les nombreux organismes internationaux et les multiples initiatives qui visent l’amélioration de l’éducation aux Roms, et la réduction de la ségrégation et autres pratiques non-inclusives. Compte tenu de ces démarches—et de leur impact relativement petit—j’identifie tant les bienfaits que les désavantages des efforts internationaux qui essaient d’augmenter l’inclusion des Roms et améliorer leur éducation. Je conclus que les organismes internationaux contribuent de façon considérable à l’inclusion des Roms, mais qu’ils servent également de distractions centralisées qui favorisent des attentes extrêmement élevées et ainsi, une grande déception quant aux résultats.

Author Biography

Melanie H. Ram, California State University, Fresno

Melanie H. Ram is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, California State University, Fresno, USA. This work also builds on her previous experience in international development. Dr. Ram’s research focuses on the activities and influence of international organizations—especially the European Union—on minority issues (including anti-discrimination and social inclusion), as well as the interaction between international organizations and non-governmental organizations. Much of her work focuses on Roma; it has been published in Europe-Asia Studies, Comparative European Politics, and Ethnopolitics, among others.

Published
2016-05-18