Skip to main content

NGO Strategies for Hungarian and Roma Minorities in Central Europe


NGOs sponsor a variety of innovative projects relating to the Hungarian and Roma minorities in Romania, Slovakia, and Ukraine, as well as for the Roma in Hungary. However, a study of 33 NGOs in this region reveals that the strategies behind these projects tend to vary according to the particular group being addressed. NGO projects emphasizing Hungarian minorities tend to utilize network strategies to increase contact between Hungarians and titulars (Romanians, Slovaks, and Ukrainians), while projects for Roma tend to avoid network strategies, focusing exclusively on status-raising strategies. This paper presents the promises and shortcomings of both approaches, and concludes with an analysis addressing why NGOs should be less hesitant to apply network strategies to Roma projects as well as to Hungarian projects.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  • Barany, Z. (1994). Living on the edge: The East European Roma in postcommunist policies and societies. Slavic Review, 53(2), 321–344.

    Google Scholar 

  • Barany, Z. (1995). Favorable trends for Romania's Roma. Transition, Oct. 20, 26–31.

  • Blau, P. (1977). Inequality and Heterogeneity: A Primitive Theory of Social Structure, The Free Press, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Deutsch, K. (1966). Nationalism and Social Communication: An Inquiry into the Foundations of Nationality, The M.I.T. Press, Cambridge, MA.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fisher, S. (1993). Romanies in Slovakia. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Research Report, Oct. 22, 54–59.

  • Granovetter, M. (1973). The strength of weak ties. American Journal of Sociology, 78, 1360–1380.

    Google Scholar 

  • Granovetter, M. (1983). The strength of weak ties: A network theory revisited. In R. Collins (ed.), Sociological Theory, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, pp. 201–233.

    Google Scholar 

  • Granovetter, M. (1995). Getting a job, A study of contacts and careers, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

    Google Scholar 

  • Human Rights Watch (1995). Slaughter Among Neighbors, Yale University Press, New Haven.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kamm, H. (1993). End of communism worsens anti-gypsy racism. The New York Times, Nov. 17, A12.

  • Kocsis, K., and Kocsis-Hodosi, E. (1998). Ethnic Geography of the Hungarian Minorities in the Carpathian Basin, Geographical Research Institute, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest.

    Google Scholar 

  • Liegeois, J.-P., and Gheorghe, N. (1995). Roma/Gypsies: A European Minority, Minority Rights Group, London. Available at

    Google Scholar 

  • România Liberă (1997). Oct. 3.

  • Stroschein, S. (2000). Contention and Coexistence: Hungarian Minorities and Inter-Ethnic Relations in Romania, Slovakia, and Ukraine, Unpublished PhD Thesis, Columbia University, New York City.

  • Temple, M. (1996). The politicization of history: Marshal Antonescu and Romania. East European Politics and Societies, 10(3), 457–503.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tilly, C. (1998). Durable Inequality, University of California Press, Berkeley.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Stroschein, S. NGO Strategies for Hungarian and Roma Minorities in Central Europe. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations 13, 1–26 (2002).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

  • NGOs
  • Hungarians
  • Roma
  • Gypsies
  • networks
  • human rights
  • advocacy