The proliferation of memory laws and policies in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) has instigated a contemporary culture war in Europe, a clash concerning the meaning of the past for present European identities. The MEMOCRACY project seeks to address this democratic dilemma and the related legal and political challenges in the context of contemporary Europe. The term ‘memocracy’, coined for the purposes of this study, means ‘ruling on the basis of memory’.
We pursue a trans-disciplinary research approach in order to achieve knowledge integration across comparative constitutionalism, socio-legal studies, critical legal studies, international relations scholarship, and CEE area studies. This project contributes to understanding the nexus between the erosion of fundamental democratic rights and the emerging nation-centric governance of memory in CEE.
The Project has three key objectives:
- To develop an analytical framework for studying the migration and distortion of constitutional concepts in Europe;
- To conduct qualitative case studies of the memory laws and policies in Germany and seven CEE states over the past decade, on the one hand, and democratic standards in the EU and CoE, on the other;
- To contribute to current public debates about the future of liberal democracy by providing new scholarly insights on the parameters of democratic memory governance in the transnational European space.
The team consists of researchers from the fields of comparative law, constitutional law, political science, and international relations. The main outputs of this collaboration will be thematic workshops with stakeholder engagement, academic publications, and a website, showcasing comprehensive policy briefs about memory laws, judgments, and policies in the reviewed countries.