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Accepted paper:

Campi nomadi: the moral shifts of a policy object


Ana Ivasiuc (Philipps University Marburg)

Paper short abstract:

Campi nomadi-encampments housing Roma in Italy-are the result of policy-making in the 60s. A palimpsestic reading of the transformations of moralities surrounding campi nomadi uncovers the broader moral shifts in the governance of racialized otherness and poverty over the last fifty years.

Paper long abstract:

Roma Rights activists have coined Italy 'Campland' for its controversial policy of housing a share of their Roma population in the so-called campi nomadi - more often than not squalid, overcrowded encampments with precarious and faulty infrastructure, far removed from residential neighbourhoods but close to industrial or polluted areas. While the political consensus in Italy is that the camps should be dismantled, the advocates of this measure ground their arguments in diverging moral projects: on the right side of the political spectrum, the camps are a physical nuisance and their inhabitants morally undeserving outsiders who should be cast out of Italian society; on the left, the camps are undignified places of segregation that sustain exclusion rather than inclusion. But the policy of campi nomadi originated in yet another moral frame: the multicultural project starting in the sixties in Europe. The camps were the result of apparently well-intended lobbyists who, following recommendations from the Council of Europe, advocated for the camps as a measure to protect nomadism as valuable cultural trait of the Roma. Following these transformations in a recent-historical perspective, the paper takes campi nomadi as a technomoral dispositif that uncovers the broader moral shifts informing Italian policies. The palimpsestic reading of moralities surrounding the camps reconstitutes the transformation of policies from social inclusion to the contemporary governance of racialized otherness and poverty in securitarian neoliberalism.

panel P103
The rise of technomoral governance: anthropological insights into value-laden scales of evidence