When: Friday, 21 April, 1:00pm-2:00pm (UTC+3).
Where: Room 247, Unioninkatu 33 Building. You can also join us online via the Zoom link below: https://helsinki.zoom.us/j/67230008219?pwd=WC84dmNZQ0Q3aW10WGgxUTgzK1R4…
Meeting ID: 672 3000 8219
Divided by Memory: Explaining Differing Understandings of the Present in Western and East-Central Europe Based on the Past
While the accession of the first postcommunist states to the European Union (EU) in 2004 seemingly confirmed the newfound unity of Europe, new divisions soon emerged, most notably regarding their differing understandings of democracy. I argue that the divergent understandings of liberal and “illiberal” democracy – which correspond to the theoretical division between liberal rights protection and the republican tradition based on majoritarian popular sovereignty in democratic theory – are rooted in collective remembrance. Whereas memory cultures organized around the defeat of National Socialism in 1945 emphasize the need to protect fundamental human rights, those organized around 1989, i.e. the experience of occupation and the loss of political control under communism, emphasize domestic popular sovereignty.