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Case
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Reference no. HKS1288.0
Authors: Romana Vysatova
Published by: Harvard Kennedy School
Published in: 1995

Abstract

The fall of Communism in Eastern Europe ushered in a new era of political freedom. At the same time, it opened an old Pandora''s box of ethnic tensions and hatreds, suppressed in the ostensibly universalist Marxist regimes. Among the most dramatic instances of such re-emerging problems was that of renewed hostility toward the sizable minority of Romani ("gypsies") in the Czech Republic. This case describes in dramatic detail the re-emergency of overt hostility toward an historic pariah group. It poses, as a political and strategic problem, the issue of how an organized Romani might gain at least legal and routine toleration, if not true acceptance. The case provides an unusual vehicle for discussing minority politics, civil rights issues and the theme of relations between "pariah" groups and cultural majorities.
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Abstract

The fall of Communism in Eastern Europe ushered in a new era of political freedom. At the same time, it opened an old Pandora''s box of ethnic tensions and hatreds, suppressed in the ostensibly universalist Marxist regimes. Among the most dramatic instances of such re-emerging problems was that of renewed hostility toward the sizable minority of Romani ("gypsies") in the Czech Republic. This case describes in dramatic detail the re-emergency of overt hostility toward an historic pariah group. It poses, as a political and strategic problem, the issue of how an organized Romani might gain at least legal and routine toleration, if not true acceptance. The case provides an unusual vehicle for discussing minority politics, civil rights issues and the theme of relations between "pariah" groups and cultural majorities.

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