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Durham e-Theses
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Persistently Temporary. Ambiguity and Political Mobilisations in Italy's Roma camps: a comparative perspective

MAESTRI, GAJA,DANIELA,MELISSA (2016) Persistently Temporary. Ambiguity and Political Mobilisations in Italy's Roma camps: a comparative perspective. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This thesis interrogates the temporal persistence of Roma camps to understand the mechanisms that lead to the protraction of their temporary condition. While persistent temporariness has been widely acknowledged as a common aspect of camp-like institutions, it has rarely been problematised. Examining the cases of Italy and France, this thesis unpacks this notion of persistent temporariness and investigates the factors contributing to its different forms. In so doing, the thesis re-thinks the concept of persistence as gradual change and offers a new theorisation of the camp as a site of contentious governance.
The three empirical questions examined in the thesis are: 1) What are the factors that contribute to the persistence of the Italian Roma camps? 2) Can these factors also help with understanding of other cases of persistent temporariness? 3) What are the strategies developed to oppose the persistence of the Roma camps? These are addressed by way of a comparison of three institutional camps characterised by different types of enduring temporariness: today's Italian Roma camps, the historical French transit estates for Algerian migrants, and contemporary French integration villages for Roma migrants. Following an analysis of the Italian Roma camps, the thesis presents what I call an ‘asymmetrical comparison’ with the French cases, which aims to investigate how the factors implicated in the persistent temporariness of the Roma camps can help to explain the persistence of the transit estates and integration villages.
In examining these cases, I have drawn attention to the concept of policy ambiguity and to the way it influences the strategies of the actors involved in the camp governance and, therefore, their different trajectories of persistent temporariness. Although, in Italy, ambiguity facilitated the persistence of the Roma camps, in recent years a new form of resistance has turned policy ambiguity into an opportunity for political mobilisation.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Camps; Persistent temporariness; Political contention; Governance; Comparative method; NGOs; Political mobilisation; Squatting movement; Ambiguity; Policy change; Roma people; Algerian migrants; Italy; France
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Geography, Department of
Thesis Date:2016
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:05 Dec 2016 10:55

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