“The situation required the adoption of those measures as they were adopted”: Securitisation and Quarantine of Roma Settlements During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Slovakia (by Surova)
Recent analysis indicates that the coronavirus pandemic has disproportionately affected Roma people, amplified pre-existing exclusion, poverty, discrimination and exposed marginalised Roma to vulnerability even more than before. One of the measures that affected Roma disproportionally were lockdowns. This study explores the securitisation and quarantine of five Roma settlements during the COVID-19 pandemic in Slovakia. Paper analyses how and why were Roma communities locked down, what caused lockdowns and if they were legal, necessary and proportionate. The topic is approached from the perspective of political science. The study deploys a new institutionalism approach, securitisation as an analytical frame, and qualitative research design. This includes a case study, elite-interviews and qualitative content analysis. This study shows that Roma were exposed to the most restrictive measures that the rest of the population in Slovakia didn’t face. They have faced a discriminative approach and disproportionate measures that restricted their fundamental rights and freedoms. This paper contributes to the understanding of how are Roma still seen in a securitising manner in public debates and policy-making. Institutionalised promises and legal guarantees of equality and inclusion have failed in the circumstances of the corona pandemic in Slovakia.