Online Discursive (De)legitimation of the Roma Community

Camelia-Mihaela CMECIU


European Union has started to use online platforms in order to decrease the democratic, symbolic and communication deficits with which it has been associated. The online subsidiarity adopted by EU has allowed a new form of European citizenship where the EU citizens turned into active content producers. Alongside with Futurum or EU-ROPA, the ‘Debating Europe’ platform is a transnational communica-tive space where citizens engage themselves in debates on various EU issues alongside with other EU citizens and policy-makers. In this paper the discursive online power-holders will be the EU citizens who will de-bate upon the inclusion aspects of the Roma community in Europe. The network analysis will provide an insight into the online participation of the EU policymakers and citizens debating on the Roma community. The main topic of this online debate will clearly highlight a polarization be-tween a positive other-presentation and a negative other-presentation of the Roma community and thus the EU citizens will become legitimators and delegitimators of this ethnic community. The integrated model of discursive (de)legitimation developed in this article will reveal the most relevant discursive structures and strategies of legitimation and delegiti-mation used in the online representation of the Roma community.

Keywords: inclusion, education, legitimators, delegitimators, discur-sive structures, discursive strategies