In the Quest for Consensus for the Promotion of Social Cohesion

The professional path of Gypsy municipal mediators


  • Alexandra Castro DINÂMIA'CET
  • Marta Santos ISCTE-IUL



gypsy population, municipal mediators, social cohesion, interculturality


Based on the empirical information collected in the scope of the Evaluation of the Municipal Mediators Pilot Project, this article intends to reflect on the potentialities and constraints of the introduction of this figure in the context of autarchic work and its impacts on the promotion of social cohesion.

Moving in a territory contaminated by stereotypes and prejudices and by heterogeneous perceptions regarding what is or should be the integration of a specific minority, the figure of the Gypsy municipal mediator, who is in this particular area to be co-constructed, has presented some gaps in the conceptualization and theoretical basis. These processes of co-construction of the figure of a mediator reveal to us the perceptions and practices of the various agents in this way, as well as the ways in which the role of intercultural mediation in the promotion of social cohesion is envisaged.

Based on the analysis of the thematic areas of intervention of the mediators, the roles assumed by them and the types of mediation advocated, as well as the 'reading' that the various agents involved (policy makers, technicians, mediators and gypsies) and to the initial expectations, the critical factors to the effectiveness of the interventions are systematized and the reflection on the challenges that are put to a solid and coherent implementation of this figure at the autarchic level is promoted.