Memocracy

Memocracy

The Challenge of Populist Memory Politics for Europe: Towards Effective Responses to Militant Legislation on the Past

Project workshops

Table of contents

Workshop: Connecting Memory Laws in Latin America, East Asia and Europe

On 12 March 2024, a unique – in its international scope – MEMOCRACY workshop took place at the premises of the T.M.C. Asser Institute in the Hague.

The MEMOCRACY project has brought a cohort of scholars from Latin America and East Asia to explore the topic of ‘memory laws’ and legal governance of history as a worldwide phenomenon. The workshop has unpacked how various legal measures govern the representation of the historical past. Most recently, the topic of memory laws has been actively discussed in the comparative scholarship in the context of the legal bans on historical speech, proliferating in, particular, in Central and Eastern Europe, since the 2010s.  The theme of the workshop explored memory laws further, beyond the geographic scope of Europe. The event gathered legal scholars, experts from social sciences and practitioners from Latin America and East Asia discussing the diverse ways these regions have been dealing with memory laws and memory policies.

The current workshop was the result of earlier exchanges with East Asian researchers in Tokyo and Seoul, as well as with  Latin American researchers in Brazil, culminating in the unique connection of the workshop organised in The Hague. 

Prof Yunjeong Joo (Pusan National University, South Korea), Prof Satoshi Yokodaido (Keio University, Japan), Prof Junko Kotani (Shizuoka University, Japan), Dr Vincent K.L. Chang (Leiden University, the Netherlands), Dr Sandra M. Rios Oyola (Utrecht University, the Netherlands), Prof Carlos Pérez Ricart (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas, and Commissioner in the Commission on Access to Truth, Historical Clarification and Justice for Serious Human  Rights Violations in Mexico,1965-1990, Mexico), Prof André Andrade (Judge and Professor at UNESA, Universidade Estácio de Sá, Brazil), and Dr Mirosław Sadowski (University of Strathclyde, UK) provided their insightful presentations.

Workshop: discussing the draft report on memory laws in the Baltic States

The MEMOCRACY Tallinn Seminar took place at the Vabamu Museum of Occupations and Freedom in Tallinn, Estonia on June 16, 2023.

Dr Maria Mälksoo, MEMOCRACY Principal Investigator (University of Copenhagen, Denmark) opened the seminar.

In the first part of the event, MEMOCRACY Principal Investigators, early career researchers and invited guests discussed a draft report on memory laws in three Batic states, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, prepared by the MEMOCRACY team at University of Copenhagen.

Dr Dovilė Sagatienė presented the draft report.

Prof. Justinas Žilinskas (Mykolas Romeris University, Institute of International and EU Law, Vilnius), Dr Elīna Grigore-Bāra (University of Latvia, Faculty of Law) and Dr Eva-Clarita Pettai (Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena) provided their insightful comments.

An interdisciplinary debate between the panellists, the MEMOCRACY team members and the audience followed

MEMOCRACY Tallinn Seminar concluded with a roundtable on the theme ‚How to defend memory?‘ with arepresentative roundup of Estonian experts: Dr Mari-Liis Madisson (University of Tartu), Andres Parmas (Estonian Prosecutor General), Toomas Hiio (Estonian Institute of Historical Memory) and Prof. Vello Pettai (ECMI).

The MEMOCRACY Tallinn Seminar took place on the heels of June 14, the day of commemorating the June 1941 deportations by the Soviet Union in the Baltic states. The project team learned further about this tragic chapter in the Baltic history from touring the permanent exhibition of the Vabamu Museum.

Workshop: discussing the draft report on memory laws in Germany

MEMOCRACY Principal Investigators, early career researchers and invited guests discussed a draft report on memory laws in Germany, prepared by Dr. Paula Fischer, the post-doctoral researcher at the MEMOCRACY team at the University of Cologne, and Simon Messing, a P.h.D. candidate at the University of Cologne. The invited experts Prof. Anna-Bettina Kaiser, Dr. Reut Yael Paz and Dr. Stefanie Rauch contributed insightful comment.

The workshop was followed by the first public event of MEMOCRACY, which centered on Putin’s abuse of history in his obscure reasoning for invasion of Ukraine.

In his escalating speech of 21 February 2022, three days before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, President Putin made clear: In his view, Ukraine is “an inalienable part of [Russia’s] own history, cultural and spiritual space” that needs to be “de-nazified” which gives Russia the right to subjugate it. This narrative, a complete distortion of historical facts, is central to Putin’s claim that its brutal drive for expansion and restoration of the Soviet Union is politically and morally justified. If the rewriting of history, including by legal means, has been part of many States’ foreign strategy for a long time, the weight given to an official narrative of the past and the effects created have rarely been so huge. The questions arising at this beginning of a new era of international relations are numerous: Which factors have contributed to the fact that such a detachment from historical reality could be formulated and are believed by some today; what does it mean – for Ukraine, its neighbors and beyond – when memory governance is no longer limited to serving ontological security interests but openly pursues expansionist purposes; and what can the European States do to preserve not only their past but also their core values and an international order that is based on law?

These questions among others were discussed by the four panelists: Dr. Uladzilau Belavusau (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague, University of Amsterdam), Dr. Aleksandra Gliszczyńska-Grabias (Institute of Legal Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences), Prof. Dr. Fabian Klose (Chair for International History and Historical Peace and Conflict Research, University of Cologne) and Dr. Maria Mälksoo (Centre for Military Studies, University of Copenhagen). The panel was chaired by Prof. Dr. DDr. h.c. Angelika Nußberger M.A. (Academy for European Human Rights Protection, University of Cologne).

Workshop on Russia and Ukraine

Forthcoming in 2024.

Final conference

Forthcoming in 2024.

Memocracy

Memocracy

The Challenge of Populist Memory Politics for Europe:
Towards Effective Responses to Militant Legislation on the Past

Project workshops

Workshop: Connecting Memory Laws in Latin America, East Asia and Europe

On 12 March 2024, a unique – in its international scope – MEMOCRACY workshop took place at the premises of the T.M.C. Asser Institute in the Hague.

The MEMOCRACY project has brought a cohort of scholars from Latin America and East Asia to explore the topic of ‘memory laws’ and legal governance of history as a worldwide phenomenon. The workshop has unpacked how various legal measures govern the representation of the historical past. Most recently, the topic of memory laws has been actively discussed in the comparative scholarship in the context of the legal bans on historical speech, proliferating in, particular, in Central and Eastern Europe, since the 2010s.  The theme of the workshop explored memory laws further, beyond the geographic scope of Europe. The event gathered legal scholars, experts from social sciences and practitioners from Latin America and East Asia discussing the diverse ways these regions have been dealing with memory laws and memory policies.

The current workshop was the result of earlier exchanges with East Asian researchers in Tokyo and Seoul, as well as with  Latin American researchers in Brazil, culminating in the unique connection of the workshop organised in The Hague. 

Prof Yunjeong Joo (Pusan National University, South Korea), Prof Satoshi Yokodaido (Keio University, Japan), Prof Junko Kotani (Shizuoka University, Japan), Dr Vincent K.L. Chang (Leiden University, the Netherlands), Dr Sandra M. Rios Oyola (Utrecht University, the Netherlands), Prof Carlos Pérez Ricart (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas, and Commissioner in the Commission on Access to Truth, Historical Clarification and Justice for Serious Human  Rights Violations in Mexico,1965-1990, Mexico), Prof André Andrade (Judge and Professor at UNESA, Universidade Estácio de Sá, Brazil), and Dr Mirosław Sadowski (University of Strathclyde, UK) provided their insightful presentations.

Workshop: discussing the draft report on memory laws in the Baltic States

The MEMOCRACY Tallinn Seminar took place at the Vabamu Museum of Occupations and Freedom in Tallinn, Estonia on June 16, 2023.

Dr Maria Mälksoo, MEMOCRACY Principal Investigator (University of Copenhagen, Denmark) opened the seminar.

In the first part of the event, MEMOCRACY Principal Investigators, early career researchers and invited guests discussed a draft report on memory laws in three Batic states, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, prepared by the MEMOCRACY team at University of Copenhagen.

Dr Dovilė Sagatienė presented the draft report.

Prof. Justinas Žilinskas (Mykolas Romeris University, Institute of International and EU Law, Vilnius), Dr Elīna Grigore-Bāra (University of Latvia, Faculty of Law) and Dr Eva-Clarita Pettai (Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena) provided their insightful comments.

An interdisciplinary debate between the panellists, the MEMOCRACY team members and the audience followed

MEMOCRACY Tallinn Seminar concluded with a roundtable on the theme ‚How to defend memory?‘ with arepresentative roundup of Estonian experts: Dr Mari-Liis Madisson (University of Tartu), Andres Parmas (Estonian Prosecutor General), Toomas Hiio (Estonian Institute of Historical Memory) and Prof. Vello Pettai (ECMI).

The MEMOCRACY Tallinn Seminar took place on the heels of June 14, the day of commemorating the June 1941 deportations by the Soviet Union in the Baltic states. The project team learned further about this tragic chapter in the Baltic history from touring the permanent exhibition of the Vabamu Museum.

Workshop: discussing the draft report on memory laws in Germany

MEMOCRACY Principal Investigators, early career researchers and invited guests discussed a draft report on memory laws in Germany, prepared by Dr. Paula Fischer, the post-doctoral researcher at the MEMOCRACY team at the University of Cologne, and Simon Messing, a P.h.D. candidate at the University of Cologne. The invited experts Prof. Anna-Bettina Kaiser, Dr. Reut Yael Paz and Dr. Stefanie Rauch contributed insightful comment.

The workshop was followed by the first public event of MEMOCRACY, which centered on Putin’s abuse of history in his obscure reasoning for invasion of Ukraine.

In his escalating speech of 21 February 2022, three days before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, President Putin made clear: In his view, Ukraine is “an inalienable part of [Russia’s] own history, cultural and spiritual space” that needs to be “de-nazified” which gives Russia the right to subjugate it. This narrative, a complete distortion of historical facts, is central to Putin’s claim that its brutal drive for expansion and restoration of the Soviet Union is politically and morally justified. If the rewriting of history, including by legal means, has been part of many States’ foreign strategy for a long time, the weight given to an official narrative of the past and the effects created have rarely been so huge. The questions arising at this beginning of a new era of international relations are numerous: Which factors have contributed to the fact that such a detachment from historical reality could be formulated and are believed by some today; what does it mean – for Ukraine, its neighbors and beyond – when memory governance is no longer limited to serving ontological security interests but openly pursues expansionist purposes; and what can the European States do to preserve not only their past but also their core values and an international order that is based on law?

These questions among others were discussed by the four panelists: Dr. Uladzilau Belavusau (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague, University of Amsterdam), Dr. Aleksandra Gliszczyńska-Grabias (Institute of Legal Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences), Prof. Dr. Fabian Klose (Chair for International History and Historical Peace and Conflict Research, University of Cologne) and Dr. Maria Mälksoo (Centre for Military Studies, University of Copenhagen). The panel was chaired by Prof. Dr. DDr. h.c. Angelika Nußberger M.A. (Academy for European Human Rights Protection, University of Cologne).

Workshop on Russia and Ukraine

Forthcoming in 2024.

Final conference

Forthcoming in 2024.