Environmental Justice and Roma Communities in Central and Eastern Europe
Document Type Article
This is the pre-peer-reviewed version of the following article: Harper, Krista, Tamara Steger, and Richard Filcak. 2009. Environmental Justice and Roma Communities in Central and Eastern Europe. Environmental Policy and Governance 19:4 (July/August 2009), which will be published in revised
Environmental injustice and the social exclusion of Roma communities in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) has roots in historical patterns of ethnic exclusion and widening socioeconomic inequalities following the collapse of state socialism and the transition to multi-party parliamentary governments in 1989. In this article, we discuss some of the methodological considerations in environmental justice research, engage theoretical perspectives on environmental inequalities and social exclusion, discuss the dynamics of discrimination and environmental protection regarding the Roma in CEE, and summarize two case studies on environmental justice in Slovakia and Hungary. We argue that when some landscapes and social groups are perceived as “beyond the pale” of environmental regulation, public participation, and civil rights, it creates local sites for externalizing environmental harms.