Roma Inclusion Policies in Europe: Governance Puzzles

Course Description: 

Elective Course

The course will center its attention on outstanding policy issues related to a European Roma inclusion agenda. It will address governance puzzles that the problem of Roma inclusion generates on international, national, and local levels including the main actors and their interfaces, policy coordination mechanisms, political legitimacy problems, the use of legal, financial, and institutional tools and interventions, and needs concerning data production and impact assessment. Topics will be articulated in discussions with policy practitioners who will be invited as guest speakers to the weekly sessions. Practitioners will be asked to critically reflect upon their own work and the policy space in which they are engaged. These practitioners will be experienced and outspoken policy innovators, pioneer institution builders, brokers of political debates, or agenda setting civil society leaders from across. Group based student assignments will connect the practitioners’ accounts to selected readings from the relevant policy studies literature.

Learning Outcomes: 

The course will sensitize students interested in larger and specific issues of governance, politics, and public policy to challenges of social diversity, cleavages and distinctions pertinent to most developed and new democracies and societies in transformations. The course will invite students to develop their skills of critical thinking by understanding major theoretical, moral and practical debates that shape considerations on responding to the problem of Roma inclusion. The teaching method will ensure that students have to regularly engage with critical policy practitioners and thinkers in the field and synthesize knowledge coming from different speakers and different analytical pieces of literature (commentary to presentations and group discussions following), to critically evaluate and compare differences and overlaps of arguments (presentations) between the different presenters, to do targeted inquiries for relevant policy fields (term paper), and to develop their academic writing skills (term paper). Preparing for commentary will encourage students to develop their oral skills to argue for certain policy positions or to contest those, and to express critical opinions in acceptable formats.


(1) All enrolled students are expected to carefully consult weekly required readings prior to the classes, ideally by taking notes. Active participation in the discussions following the guest lectures is expected from all students. Students are also expected to actively contribute to the work of the two reflection sessions in the middle and at the end of the course. 

Weight to the grade: 20%

(2) Students will be important protagonists of the class. Teamed up in small groups, they will have to prepare discussion points, targeted comments and questions to the weekly guest speakers. In order to develop these discussion points and questions, they are expected to read the compulsory reading and additional recommended readings. Following the class in which they commented the lecture, groups will have to prepare two page critical summaries of the main points and argument of the guest lecture and of the main points of the discussion following the lecture. The groups, composed by 2-3 students, will be formed at the beginning of the semester. Each group has to take the commentator role for at least one session throughout the term. Members of the groups are expected to collaborate in preparing for the session prior to the class, and they have to manage a reasonable division of labor throughout the task.

Weight to the grade: 30%

 (3) Students will write a term paper of 3000 words. This will follow the genre of a policy paper or of an academic essay. Papers should be connected to one of the Roma inclusion policy topics discussed in class, and reflect on the relevant compulsory and recommended readings and the relevant lectures presented throughout the term. Preliminary discussion with the course instructors on the paper topics is encouraged. A proposal paper should be submitted to instructors by 20st of February. The deadline for the paper will be determined based on departmental coordination.   

Weight to the grade: 50%