New book by UC professors explores U.S. civil rights, European Roma rights movements

A new book co-authored by University of Cincinnati College of Law Professor Felix Chang and UC European Studies Professor Sunnie Rucker-Chang takes a comparative look at the movements for — and expressions of — equality for two of the largest racialized minority groups in Europe and the U.S.

The book, "Roma Rights and Civil Rights: A Transatlantic Comparison," published recently by Cambridge University Press, examines the similarities and differences between the two movements.

There are many commonalities between the Roma rights and civil rights,” said Professor Chang on the importance of this book. “In addition to the structural barriers faced by Roma and African Americans, these two movements are mutually illuminating.”

The book focuses on Roma rights in post-Communist Central and Southeast Europe from 1991, particularly during the European Union’s eastern enlargements, and the development of civil rights in the U.S.

There are many commonalities between the Roma rights and civil rights

Professor Felix Chang

This is the first book-length work to give a sustained comparison of these movements. Its impact is broad, contributing to emerging discussions on race in European scholarship. In the U.S., it will help foster global connections on the study of race and social movements while highlighting the critical turn in Romani studies.

The foundations of the work were presented by Chang and Rucker-Chang at several conferences around the world. In addition, they helped bring leading European and North American scholars to UC through the interdisciplinary conference “Transatlantic Approaches to Racial Equality” in 2018. The conference was planned with the Judge Nathaniel R. Jones Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice.  

The introduction to the book is available for free download through the end of June 2020.