Romanian and Bulgarian Migration

  • Citizenship, Migration, and the Nation–State: Exploring UK Policy Responses to Romanian and Bulgarian Migration

    Questions of citizenship and nationhood have increasingly gained prominence given the internationalisation of employment, especially with respect to the free movement of workers within the EU. Scholar Rogers Brubaker has suggested that an absence of a strong identity as a nationstate and the lack of an established national citizenship have contributed to “the confused and bitter politics of immigration and citizenship during the last quarter-century” in Britain. This legacy continues to this day. For instance, on the fi rst of January 2014, migration and employment restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians were lift ed, provoking mass public outcry in the UK. In a recent poll, three quarters of respondents expressed concern about the possible infl ux of Romanians and Bulgarian migrants. Playing on populist fears, London mayor Boris Johnson quipped: “We can do nothing to stop the entire population of Transylvania – charming though most of them may be – from trying to pitch camp at Marble Arch”. British ministers have even considered launching a negative publicity campaign in Bulgaria and Romania to dissuade migrants, highlighting the dreary weather and lack of job opportunities in Britain.

  • The Role of Trauma in Romania’s Ontological Security

    This paper analyses Romania’s foreign policy during the first post-communist years, by employing a theoretical viewpoint based on ontological security and trauma. It uncovers the elite efforts to secure the post-totalitarian state’s identity and international course. Romania’s search for ontological security featured the articulation of narratives of victimhood, which were linked with its proclaimed western European identity. The Romanian identity narrative has long struggled between “the West” and “the East”, trying to cope with traumatic historical events. These discursive themes and ontological insecurities were crystallized in the controversy surrounding the Romanian-Soviet “Friendship Treaty” (1991). Key Romanian officials displayed different typical responses to cultural trauma and debated the state’s path to ontological security, which was reflected in the foreign policy positions. 

     

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