Nationalism, Democracy, and Memory Laws

Issue Date April 2019
Volume 30
Issue 2
Page Numbers 157-171
file Print
arrow-down-thin Download from Project MUSE
external View Citation

Read the full essay here.

Controversies over historical interpretation have become a key focus of contemporary politics. Recently, these issues have taken on particular prominence in Europe, where a burgeoning array of “memory laws” has sparked heated debates. While laws prohibiting Holocaust denial are their progenitors, most of the newer laws are intended to shape, rather than simply to reflect, social norms about how the past should be understood and discussed. They also reflect concerns about maintaining national unity and cultural coherence in the face of European integration. As such, these laws constitute both a response to the postnational order and a threat to liberalism.

About the Authors

George Soroka

George Soroka is lecturer on government and assistant director of undergraduate studies at Harvard University. He is coeditor of Ukraine After Maidan: Revisiting Domestic and Regional Security (2018).

View all work by George Soroka

Félix Krawatzek

Félix Krawatzek is senior researcher at the Centre for East European and International Studies in Berlin and an associate member of Nuffield College, Oxford. He is author ofYouth in Regime Crisis: Comparative Perspectives from Russia to Weimar Germany (2018).

View all work by Félix Krawatzek