Going beyond race-blind and conventional approaches to spatial segregation, Racial Cities uncovers the multiple connections between the contemporary segregation of Romani people and European colonial urban governance. Building on nearly a decade of ethnographic and historical research in Romania, Italy, France and the UK, Picker casts a series of case studies into the historical framework of circulations and borrowings between colony and metropole since the late 19th century, to argue that race is the overarching logic through which stigmatized and segregated "Gypsy urban areas" have emerged and persisted in post-WWII urban Europe.
By focusing on socio-economic transformations and social dynamics in contemporary Cluj-Napoca, Pescara, Montreuil, Florence and Salford, Picker detects four local segregating mechanisms and comparatively investigates resemblances between each of them and segregation in French Rabat, Italian Addis Ababa and British New Delhi. These multiple global relations serve as an empirical basis for proposing a bridge between critical race theory and urban theories, which ultimately leads to a call to re-image European cities through an effectively anti-racist postcolonial lens.
The first comprehensive analysis of the segregation of Romani people in Europe, this timely book is an important contribution to public debates and actions addressing inequalities, social marginality, citizenship and governance. It will appeal to scholars, undergraduate and postgraduate students, postdoctoral researchers, as well as activists and policy makers, who are interested in areas including: Race and Racism, Cities, Governance, Inequalities, Colonialism and Post colonialism, Spatial segregation and European Studies.