How can a 'nomad' be a 'refugee'? Kosovo Roma and labelling policy in Italy

Nando Sigona*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


Ethnic categories in Kosovo as well as in Italy have been shaped and reshaped according to public politics and local power relations. Focusing on the treatment of the Roma minority, this article examines the complexity of the relationship between labelling and policy in two different contexts: Kosovo and Italy. it highlights the impact that bureaucratic and institutional actors have on the process of identity building of the Roma/Gypsies community. Labels not only contribute actively to the definition of collective identities, but, as instruments of a political system, they express and summarize its structure. The article concludes by emphasizing that lables and policies not only play a role and, in some ways, create the objective of their action, but once they define a group of people as a community, through the allocation of resources, they actually create a community: from 'nomads' to nomads.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-79
Number of pages11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2003


  • Gypsies
  • Ital
  • Kosovo
  • Labelling theory
  • Refugees
  • Roma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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