“Negotiating the “State of Exception:” Gypsies’ Encounter with the Judiciary in Germany and Italy, 1860-1914Social History (2010)
The tensions between judicial and executive authorities regarding so-called Gypsies in fin de siecle Germany and Italy reveals an inherent contradiction between the universalist dictates of the modern Rechtsstaat and the requirements of building a national state free of perceived outsiders. The frustration of executive authorities with judicial authorities who insisted on protecting the universalist individual enshrined in law pushed executive authorities to utilize the 'state of exception' to achieve their vision of the national community. Rather than choosing to create illiberal laws that would expressly exclude Gypsies from the national body, and would resolve the tension with the judiciary, authorities in Germany and Italy instead chose to go around the law by treating Gypsies as an exception not subject to the law. The state of exception not only deprived those labelled as Gypsies of a method of resistance, since many were able to use unwilling courts to protect them from over-zealous executive authorities, but also created a group of stateless people, persecuted and lacking basic human rights.
Publication DateNovember, 2010
Citation InformationJennifer G. Illuzzi. "“Negotiating the “State of Exception:” Gypsies’ Encounter with the Judiciary in Germany and Italy, 1860-1914" Social History Vol. 35 Iss. 4 (2010)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jennifer_illuzzi/1/