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Title: A comparative study of communist and post-communist policy formation and implementation : case study of Roma policy in Czechoslovakia and Slovakia 1945-1998
Author: Hergottova, Irena
ISNI:       0000 0004 2720 7431
Awarding Body: University of the West of Scotland
Current Institution: University of the West of Scotland
Date of Award: 2008
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Post-war Czechoslovakia experienced the development of a range of dedicated policies towards Roma. Communist governments' efforts culminated in the 1950s and 1960s with accommodation transfers, integration into the workforce and school admissions positive action projects. After the Prague Spring in 1968, these policies, often referred to as ''forced assimilation", were considerably reduced but efforts to integrate Roma into socialist welfare continued until 1989. One of the perceived weaknesses of the communist policies towards Roma was the failure to consult with indigenous Roma communities and recognise Roma as a national minority, despite calls for such a move from the Roma leadership during the Prague Spring. Democratic processes attached to the 1989 Velvet Revolution widened opportunities for resolving the historical grievances by offering a chance for Roma to form their own groups and for new political parties to pay more regard to international human rights frameworks. Despite the hopes offered by democratisation, this thesis offers evidence that due to frequent changes of government, ambiguous policy objectives inherited from the past, and insufficient knowledge of equal opportunities policies, particularly the absence of the new notion of social justice, little was achieved after 1989. This thesis contributes to the knowledge of policy formation and implementation from a historical perspective and across two political systems. It firstly challenges certain notions of the role of communist parties in the policy process that remain empirically under-researched. Secondly, it provides an opportunity to explore unrecognized links between ambiguous notions of Roma constructed within social science and approaches put forward by the governments over time. This thesis argues that the continuous lack of understanding of who Roma communities were and how they perceived themselves represented the two major factors of the weak implementation of policy in Czechoslovakia and Slovakia between 1945 and 1998.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available