University of Jyväskylä

Dissertation: 15.12 From the Roma Policy to the Politics of the Roma (Friman-Korpela)

Start date: Dec 15, 2014 12:00 AM

End date: Dec 15, 2014 03:00 PM

Location: Mattilanniemi, Agora Aud. 3

Sarita Friman-Korpela. Kuvaaja:STM viestintä/Sara VainionpääM.Soc.Sc. Sarita Friman-Korpela defends her doctoral dissertation in Political Science. Opponent YTT Anu Hirsiaho (Tampere) and custos Professor Kari Palonen (University of Jyväskylä). The event is held in Finnish.


This dissertation entitled “From the Roma Policy to the Politics of the Roma” analyses the change in the political agenda and political agency during the second half of the 20th century in Finland with the case of Roma politics. The preliminary thesis of the study consists of the claim that tracking the changes in the scope of Roma policy of government and administration is not adequate in order to identify the agency of Roma themselves and politicization processes within the Roma communities. This shift from policy to politics marks a new approach in Roma studies. While the study focuses on the development of Roma agenda, it may been seen also as a reflection of the Finnish political agenda in wider national context.

The methodological idea of the study is to apply method of reading the documents as political acts in particular context. The political reading of the selected corpus applies the tools provided by rhetoric and conceptual history. The theoretical approach is based on idea of Roma as politically produced paradigm and secondly with the concept of Roma as an umbrella term indicating the variety of groups falling under the concept. The study aims to develop further the political idea of Roma in order to draw distinctions between the contesting political interests within the constructed ‘Roma’ paradigm while revealing the changes both in the Roma policy and political agency of the Roma.

The empirical sources of the study cover the official documents of the 1900’s. The corpus of official documents is supplemented with archive material of Roma organizations and individuals, policy programs, memoirs and pamphlets. The study utilizes the derivatives of the polit-concept in constructing the spacing and timing of changes in Roma policies and Roma politics.

From the Roma Policy to the Politics of the Roma. The change in the political agenda and political agency during the second half of the twentieth century in Finland. The dissertation is published in the series Jyväskylä Studies in Education, Psychology and Social Research ISSN 0075-4625; 513. It is available at the University Library’s Publications Unit, tel. +358 40 805 3825,

Keywords: Roma, political, politics, policy, Roma studies, political rights, civic rights, human rights, social policy, voting rights, Romani language, Romani culture

  • Further information:

Sarita Friman-Korpela, tel. +358 50 553 5530,

Communications intern Birgitta Kemppainen, tel. +358 40 805 4483,