Anti-Gypsyism / Antiziganism

Discrimination and prejudice against people belonging to Roma and/or Traveller communities. Anti-gypsyism enables all those from Roma and related backgrounds to be put under a single definition without acknowledging the different cultural groups and communities. This activity includes but is not limited to school segregation, forced sedentarisation, hate speech, and hate crimes. Anti-gypsyism is not only something an individual can perpetuate through words and actions but is deeply rooted in societal structures and biases. 

The term anti-gypsyism has been used in academia since the 1970s and was first used officially by the European Parliament in 2005. The term and its usage signify that people of the Roma minority face a specific type of racism that no other minority group meets.


It encompasses a range of beliefs and political actions meant to counter racial prejudice, systemic racism, and the oppression of specific racial groups. Antiracism is structured around conscious efforts and deliberate movements intended to provide equal opportunities for all people on an individual and a systemic level. As a philosophy, it can be engaged by acknowledging personal privileges, confronting acts and systems of racial discrimination, and/or working to change individual and racial biases.

Anti-Semitism & Holocaust Denial

Acts, behaviour and expressions towards those of Jewish origins that are discriminative, fearful, hateful, suspicious and/or include unfair treatment. Holocaust denial (a conspiracy theory that the Holocaust is a myth) is recognised as a form of antisemitism.


Introduced in 1948 and supported in South Africa by the National Party (NP) government, apartheid was an ideology based on the separation of people based on their race. The separation was a system of institutionalised racial segregation implemented through laws so that people’s rights and opportunities were different depending on the colour of their skin. For example, people from different racial groups lived in different areas, used different services, and did not interact with each other for fear of prosecution. 

Apartheid was a system based on White Supremacy (see definition below), with the term ‘non-white’ used to characterise all those that did not share the same skin tone as those in power. The underlying reasoning for apartheid was that white people were the minority in South Africa, and this system would ensure that their rights were taken care of. However, this reasoning implemented the exact opposite, fueled by clear and straightforward racism and a need for superiority and power over others. 

While apartheid officially ended at the beginning of the 90s, its legacy still lives on in South Africa through institutional racism, segregated living spaces, discrimination and unequal social structures. 


A form of government characterised by the rejection of political plurality, strong central power to preserve the political status quo, reductions in the rule of law, separation of powers, and democratic voting. Political scientists have created many typologies describing variations of authoritarian forms of government. Authoritarian regimes may be either autocratic or oligarchic and may be based upon the rule of a party or the military.

Minimally defined, an authoritarian government lacks free and competitive direct elections to legislatures, free and competitive direct or indirect elections for executives, or both. Broadly defined, authoritarian states include countries that lack civil liberties, such as freedom of religion or countries in which the government and the opposition do not alternate in power at least once following free elections.

Chattel Slavery

The enslaved person is legally rendered the enslaver’s personal property (chattel). The enslaved person is owned forever, and their children are automatically enslaved. Chattel enslaved people were enslaved individuals treated as exclusive property, to be bought and sold. Chattel slavery was supported and made legal by European governments and monarchs.

Collective Memory

A form of memory that transcends the individual and is shared by a group. It is not static but rather a process of contesting various past accounts. Sites of contestation include family discussions, museums, monuments and memorials, history textbooks and national holidays.


Conceptualisations of colonialism are fraught with debate, too narrow a definition and communities who have experienced injustice which they characterise as colonial are excluded, too broad, and any form of unequal power relationship is included. Three main characteristics of colonialism are domination, cultural imposition and exploitation by conquest. Colonialism has been justified on the grounds of the coloniser’s priority and the colonised’s inferiority, often with aims to ‘civilise’.

Commemorative Landscape

Refers to sites of memory, for example, family discussions, museums, monuments and memorials, history textbooks and national holidays.


The act of granting certain powers or the authority to carry out a particular task or duty.


Established in the second half of the 19th century by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, communism is an ideology that has a social, political, philosophical and economic dimension. It has been apparent in numerous countries worldwide, such as the Soviet Union, Cuba and Vietnam. Communism is based on the notion that everything produced by and for the people of a government is owned by the government that has extreme power over its people. By establishing common ownership, individuals receive a standard compensation for their contribution but do not own anything they utilise or produce. Thus, individual wealth or social classification does not play a role in a communist society. 

Six unifying themes are considered to be part of global political communism: the monopoly of power of the ruling Communist party; democratic centralism; state ownership of the means of production; centrally planned rather than the market economy; membership of an international Communist movement; and the aspiration, in principle, to move eventually to a stateless, classless communist society.

Of note: A term denoted by western superpowers, namely the United States, to refer to the influence of Soviet rule. Politicians can use harsh words such as communism to tarnish their opposition.

Conflict Resolution 

When two or more parties are dealing with a conflict, conflict resolution is a crucial method or manner to resolve the dispute, for example, by making a compromise.

Contested Histories

Histories for which there is disagreement or conflict over the interpretations of details, events or narratives.

Cultural Appreciation

The sincere act of learning about a specific cultural group in order to understand, support and honour their traditions and activities. 

Cultural Appropriation

The use of cultural elements of a historically marginalised group (motifs, myths, clothing styles, music) by individuals external to the group with relative privilege and power and without acknowledging the background of these elements or consent, and often for profit. The power dynamic between the appropriator and the cultural group is unequal.

Cultural Heritage

A process that uses the past as a resource to construct meaning in the present. A recent shift in focus has taken place away from heritage as ‘protected property’ to heritage as a process of interpretation.

Cross-Sectoral Cooperation

Involvement of experts or stakeholders from different sectors of society in decision-making processes.


It is the standard to view the world, its structures, processes and development from a European perspective and compare everything from the outside to the European perspective. 


A form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterised by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and the economy came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe. As opposed to liberalism, democracy, Marxism, and anarchism, fascism is placed on the far right within the traditional left-right spectrum.

A form of political behaviour marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.

Of note: Extreme terms such as fascism can be used by politicians to tarnish their opposition. This is because the word is distinctly vague, hard to define, yet simultaneously abominable. 


Feminism is an interdisciplinary term for societal movement, approaches and theories aiming to tackle deeply rooted societal structures that discriminate against those not cisgender white men. Within feminism, multiple different waves do not represent the same views and ways of action, which makes feminism as a single movement challenging to construct.
With social and political movements dating back to the 1800s, the concept of feminism was initially focused on the unequal societal and social structures between men and women. It has since broadened into a larger view of intersectionality, going beyond the categories of men and women to race, gender, sex, and sexuality.
Feminism can be performed and explained through feminist theory, political engagement, activism and other types of performance. Topics often focused upon in feminism, but not limited to, include parental rights, contraceptive rights, sexual expression, gendered labour market trends, appearance stereotypes, discrimination and social justice.


As stated in the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG) Article II, Genocide is any of the following acts; With intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such;

  1. Killing members of the group;
  2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
  3. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part
  4. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
  5. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. 

Of note: genocide is a legally binding term, and it cannot be used for all instances of mass murder. Its definition is criticised for being too narrow and too confusing, leading to different stances on whether or not the historical events can be considered acts of genocide or mass murder (or other). 

Historical Consciousness

The act of being conscious about how the past, present and future connect, and not just dismissing history as something of the past that no longer plays a role in current society. 

Historical Culture

A concept that emphasises all human action in relation to its past. Here the focus is not just on historical literature but on all social and historical consciousness and how different societal events in the past have shaped culture throughout until this day. 

Historical Justice

The process of taking action to redress past injustices, often decades after the fact, for instance, through the material, symbolic, memorialisations or prosecutions. For example, monetary repair or restitutions, truth commissions, apologies or other state actions. 

Historical Knowledge

Knowledge of the past is a central part of society. Historical knowledge can be found in sources such as literature, art, and music and may be either primary or secondary. 

Historical Memory

How groups, collectives, and nations construct and identify with particular narratives about historical periods or events. Historical memory is not fixed and is often reshaped to fit current historical-political contexts. Also expressed as ‘collective memory’ and ‘social memory.’


The Holocaust is the most extreme implementation of antisemitism in history. The mass murder of European Jews, Roma, Homosexuals and other minority groups by the armed forces of Nazi Germany. During the Holocaust (1933-1945), more than ten million people were killed, although the exact number has not been confirmed. 

The word ‘Holocaust’ comes from Greek and translates to ‘burnt offering’. 


The physical act of doing something that has been agreed upon or decided.  


The means taken so everyone has an equal opportunity to participate in something. When there is inclusion, no one is left on the outside. This can be physical, such as accessing a building with a physical disability, or nonphysical, such as providing locals with a platform to express their thoughts about plans for a project. 


There is no single definition for the term ‘Indigenous,’ as it is more explanatory through characteristics. Indigenous people have traditions, cultural history, beliefs, language and norms. Often, Indigenous groups use the surrounding nature and other environments differently than the dominant group and may have separate societal and political structures. Indigenous people practice traditions more strictly than dominant populations, and their lifestyles differ significantly from dominant cultures.

Indigenous groups have long, pre-colonial histories in the places they live in. Indigenous people are discriminated against, and their rights and actions are often restricted in some ways. Consequently, some Indigenous people choose not to disclose their backgrounds to the public.


Coined by Dr Kimberlee Krenshaw, intersectionality refers to we benefit from or are harmed by systems of oppression based on overlapping identities, such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion etc.


Acts, behaviour, policies, comments and expressions of a prejudicial, hateful and/or fearful tone towards Muslims and Islam. Islamophobia is targeted racism based on biases and can be violent. Islamophobes often connect the action of individual Islamist radicals to the broader Islamic faith, not recognising the vast political, cultural, and ethnic diversity within the religion. 

Individuals can conduct Islamophobia, but it also institutionalises discrimination and oppression. This can, for example, occur in discriminative employment policies.

Of note: While acts of Islamophobia are targeted at Muslims and those of the Muslim faith, others also suffer from it due to their outer appearance, cultural practices, and other attributes that might be associated with Muslims and Islam.


The term includes people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual and those who are questioning. However, the term is often used more broadly to cater to all individuals whose gender identity or sexual orientation does not conform with cisgender heteronormativity.

Memory Laws

A form of legal governance of history that enshrines state-approved interpretations of crucial historical events in law. They can either be declaratory or regulatory, i.e., prescribing certain actions or even criminalising contrary views (such as Holocaust denial/negationism).


Acts, such as small comments, that, while not intentionally, enhance biases towards marginalised groups. Microaggressions are based on prejudices and assumptions, but because the perpetrator is not directly behaving in an aggressive or confrontational manner, they might not realise the stereotypes their actions are strengthening. Microaggressions can, for example, be assuming one’s background based on their outer appearance or expecting someone to like a certain food based on their ethnicity.

While microaggressions are often not intentional, they strengthen biases, uphold racial profiling, and discriminate against minorities. 

Missing Voices / Silenced Voices

A group of people based on attributes, such as gender, ethnicity and religion, is not being heard or considered in storytelling or decision-making processes. Thus, their voices are not heard. 

Moralisation of History

Attributing a moral value to historical events using current moral values.


The idea is that history is an interpretive process with multiple possible narratives OR the practice of teaching multiple historical narratives as opposed to one ‘correct’ narrative.


A story encompasses a series of connected events and can be factual or fictional. 

  • Alternative Narratives: Narratives that are not provided by official societal structures but often from independent people, social media, researchers, NGOs and those who are silenced. Alternative narratives most often come from personal experiences. 
  • Entrance Narrative: Is composed of three elements; how a concept, event, or other is seen in society, how and what information is given about this, and how personal emotions and experiences shape it for individuals. 
  • Dominant Narratives: The narrative that is most widely recognised or understood in society and rises above other narratives. 
  • Grand Narratives: A concept that all historical narratives are intermittently connected and cannot be thought of as separate events. Grand narratives aim to create a grand picture of historical events. 
  • Hegemonic Narratives: Encode ideologies, protect against critique and function as mechanisms of social control with the ability to colonise consciousness and hide the social organisation of their production – shaping social lives and conduct.
  • Multiple Narratives: Multiple stories or tellings of a single event, often from different perspectives, that view the event differently. 
  • Subversive Narratives / Counter Narratives: Represent a counter-hegemonic narrative that brings forward and gives a voice to socially marginalised and/or silenced perspectives.

The concept is that language has the power to implement change in the world, being a form of social action, not just a tool of description.

Physical Representation of Historical Legacies

Physical elements such as streets, monuments, buildings, and so on signify a historical period, event or figure.


Represents the view that people with different views on life and its different parts can co-exist in a society in an appropriate way. Thus, political actions can be based on different people equally. 

Principal Legacies

The legacy that causes an individual, event, or object to be remembered. These legacies may not necessarily include all significant parts of the individual, event, or object. 


Actions taken with the intention of causing a negative reaction.

Public Spaces

A public space refers to an area or place that is open and accessible to all people, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age or socio-economic level. These are public gathering spaces such as plazas, squares and parks.


Race is a social construct, not a biologically categorised term, designed to create difference and set Europe and whiteness as superior. The concept has existed since the fifteenth century and has defined European colonisation, imperialism and enslavement processes. Race is a product of racist ideologies. Within other contexts, definitions and understandings of race may differ. Race is not a universal concept.

  • Racism: prejudice, discrimination or antagonism directed at someone on the belief that their race is superior on an institutional or individual level, consciously or unconsciously. Racism evolves and adapts as societies change, taking on new forms to survive. For example, narratives such as ‘I don’t see colour’ hides the very real structural and institutional mechanisms of racism that perpetuate inequalities and oppression by denying the existence of social constructions of race and racism.
  • Institutional Racism: Also known as systemic or structural racism, refers to the racism embedded in laws, regulations and procedures within a society or organisation.
  • Critical Race Theory: a radical lens grounded in activism and intersectionality that endeavours to make sense of, deconstruct and challenge racial inequality. CRT is based on understanding race and racism as social constructs and differential power dynamics.

The act of resolving conflict to gain peace. Beyond simply solving disputes, reconciliation is a process to achieve a deeper mutual understanding to gain long-lasting peace.


The physical or symbolic picture of something represents an individual, a group, or a societal process. Representations can be problematic, as they do not always represent all those involved. For example, historical textbooks might represent colonialism from simply a western worldview.


Roma, singular Rom, also called Romany (gipsy is considered derogatory), are an ethnic group of traditionally itinerant people who originated in northern India but live in modern times worldwide, principally in Europe, where they are one of the most significant minorities but do not have a recognised home country. The term ‘Roma’ refers to the whole minority group, within which there are different smaller groups with different traditions and cultures.
Roma people are discriminated against in Europe and encounter human rights violations, hate speech and segregation in society, such as in education and the labour market. They often do not receive the same rights as other community members due to anti-gypsyism.


A political or cultural conflict between two groups is often related to the form of government they live under. Prejudice, discrimination, or hatred can arise in these conflicts, depending on the political status quo and if one group holds more power within the government. Common examples of these divisions are denominations of a religion, ethnic identity, class, or region for citizens of a state and factions of a political movement.

In its most basic form, sectarianism has been defined as ‘the existence, within a locality, of two or more divided and actively competing communal identities, resulting in a strong sense of dualism which unremittingly transcends commonality, and is both culturally and physically manifest.’ The conflicts in Northern Ireland and Lebanon are considered sectarian.

Sexual Violence

Sexual violence is any sexual act or attempts to obtain a sexual act by violence or coercion to traffic a person or action directed against a person’s sexuality. Sexual violence itself is not a legal term. Still, it encompasses different acts of sexual violence that can be further defined as crimes, depending on the location and nature of the incident.

Sexual violence includes, among other acts, the sexual abuse of children, the sexual abuse of a significant other, rape, sexual assault, incest and drug-affiliated sexual abuse. Sexual violence can be perpetrated by anyone of any gender, for example, a family member, a spouse, a stranger or a partner. The relationship between the perpetrator and the victim does not make a difference in defining whether or not the act of sexual violence has occurred. 

Social Justice

A concept that people are responsible for their own actions and how they treat others. While, for example, in law enforcement, there is a strict guideline for what is right and wrong, social justice focuses more on morals, social factors and creating and obliging to a common ground. 


Someone who is either in charge of an action or has power through monetary aid or their professional position. Stakeholders usually have a say in decision-making processes, not necessarily having expertise on the subject. 

Structural Inequality

Inequality perpetuated by institutions within a society is caused by and exacerbated by the subordination of one group in various sectors, including but not limited to access to employment, education, housing, resources and participation and representation in politics.


One who is harmed by or made to suffer under a circumstance or condition. The victim is not the perpetrator in the situation but may falsely suffer from victim-blaming (the act of finding reasons to blame the victim for the actions taken against them).

White Supremacy / Supremacism

The belief is that White people constitute a superior race and should therefore dominate society, typically to the exclusion or detriment of other racial and ethnic groups. White supremacy favours the maintenance and defence of White power and privilege. The belief has roots in the now-discredited doctrine of scientific racism and was a key justification for colonialism.

In academic usage, particularly in Critical Race Theory or intersectionality, ‘White supremacy’ can also refer to a social system in which White people enjoy structural advantages (privilege) over other ethnic groups, on both a collective and individual level, despite formal legal equality.