036 Memory and Identity Politics in the Context of Crisis

Wednesday, July 12, 2017: 11:00 AM-12:45 PM
Gilbert Scott Building - G466 (University of Glasgow)
The European Union is currently going through arguably the deepest series of crises since its inception. Ever since the economic debt problems began in 2008, questions about the future of Europe and its sustainability abound. Equally present are references to its past and the EU’s capacity for transformation. While questioning the Union’s future, politicians, citizens and the media have increasingly started to use selective narratives of particular historical episodes to promote contrasting reactions to present crises. These reactions range from increased social engagement to political disillusionment and reactionary exclusivism. As a result, long-standing political and social relations between member states have deteriorated, calling into question decades of EU integration efforts.

What kind of discursive frames do various social and political actors use in order to make sense of the different predicaments currently afflicting the EU? What are the effects of context-specific memory practices by politicians, media, civil society organizations, artists, cultural producers, and ‘ordinary citizens’ in framing forms of resilience, protest, or innovation? How do the memory politics that surround the crises inform or challenge European identity? How can we conceptualize these developments that are driven both from below and from above, often in conflictual and contradictory ways?

These are the main questions tacked by the four contributors to this panel. By gathering scholars from different universities in the UK, Greece, Poland and Cyprus with different disciplinary backgrounds (political science, history, art history) and from different generations, the panel examines the topic from the widest possible angle.

Aline Sierp
Discussant :
Aline Sierp
Post-War Nostalgia, Anti-EU Populism and EU-Skepticism in Austria
Christian Karner, University of Nottingham
The Battle for Hegemony in the Midst of the Economic Crisis: Greek Elites, National Identity and Europe
Zinovia Lialiouti, Panteion University, Athens; Giorgos Bithymitris, Panteion University, Athens
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