New article by team member Laure Neumayer: “Advocating for the cause of the ‘victims of Communism” in the European political space: memory entrepreneurs in interstitial fields”, Nationalities Papers, 45 (6) 2017

The European Parliament (EP) adopted, between 2004 and 2009, a series of resolutions calling for recognition of Communist crimes and commemoration of their victims. This article focuses on an overlooked aspect of anti-Communist activism, the awareness-raising activities carried out by some Central European Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to perpetuate the cause through networks that enable them to exchange institutional credibility, scientific legitimacy, and policy-oriented knowledge with Institutes of National Memory, parts of academia, and victims associations. Although they use the techniques of expertise and scandalization that are often effective in European institutions, these memory entrepreneurs have largely failed to further their claims in the European Union (EU) after 2009. In line with the turn toward “practice” in EU studies and the increased attention paid to agency in memory politics, this article contends that the conditions of production of their narrative of indictment of Communism accounts for this relative lack of success. Because their demands produced a strong polarization inside the EP while colliding with established Western patterns of remembrance, these MEPs’ reach remains limited to their Conservative peers from the former Eastern bloc. This weak national and ideological representativeness hinders their capacity to impose their vision of the socialist period in the European political space.

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00905992.2017.1364230

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New Article by team member Mate Zombory: “The birth of the memory of Communism: memorial museums in Europe”, Nationalities Papers, 45 (6) 2017.

This article argues that the memory of Communism emerged in Europe not due to the public recognition of pre-given historical experiences of peoples previously under Communist regimes, but to the particularities of the post-Cold War transnational political context. As a reaction to the uniqueness claim of the Holocaust in the power field structured by the European enlargement process, Communism memory was reclaimed according to the European normative and value system prescribed by the memory of the Holocaust. Since in the political context of European enlargement refusing to cultivate the memory of the Holocaust was highly illegitimate, the memory of Communism was born as the “twin brother” of Holocaust memory. The Europeanized memory of Communism produced a legitimate differentia specifica of the newcomers in relation to old member states. It has been publicly reclaimed as an Eastern European experience in relation to universal Holocaust memory perceived as Western. By the analysis of memorial museums of Communism, the article provides a transnational, historical, and sociological account on Communism memory. It argues that the main elements of the discursive repertoire applied in post-accession political debates about the definition of Europe were elaborated before 2004 in a pan-European way.

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00905992.2017.1339680

Travelling Jurisprudence: the Circulation of Legal Reasoning on International Crimes between Europe and Latin America (Workshop, Oxford, 27 November 2017)

Combining Pierre Bourdieu’s theory on the social conditions of the international circulation of ideas and William Twining’s framework of examining processes of small-scale legal diffusion, we focus on the socio-political conditions in which circulation of legal paradigms between Europe and Latin America occurred, the way they impacted on its adaptation to the local reality, as well as on the personal biographies, and the political and professionals purposes of the actors producing these transfers.

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Transnational and Global Dimensions of Justice and Memory Processes in Europe and Latin America – International Conference (Paris, 8-9 June 2017)

Focusing on Europe and Latin America, this conference aims to take stock of this transnational turn in justice and memory studies and to develop a socio-historical analysis of the circulation of norms, repertoires of collective action and models adopted to deal with the legacies of authoritarian regimes and armed conflicts. It seeks to trace the interconnections and mutual influences of these processes both within Europe and Latin America and between the two regions, as well as the mobilizations of European and Latin American actors in international institutions, global NGOs, or at venues on other continents.

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Read the conference brochure here.

Call for Papers International Conference “Transnational and Global Dimensions of Justice and Memory Processes in Europe and Latin America” (University of Paris Ouest Nantarre, 8-9 June 2017)

Justice and memory processes that had accompanied the “third wave of democratisation” have been the subject of a large body of academic literature. These works have commonly taken certain approaches. Some have analysed these processes within national borders or by providing comparative accounts of countries seen as discrete units, disconnected from transnational or global developments. Others, by contrast, have tried to account for the criminalization of dictatorships and conflicts in terms of the emergence of international norms based on an ethics of human rights and a “cosmopolitan memory” – often driven by a decontextualized remembrance of the Holocaust. This scholarship has however tended to overgeneralize global trends without always grasping the complexity of local attempts at dealing with the past. In the last ten years, a third approach, focusing on specific transnational entanglements, has gained ground. This emerging literature has started to analyze empirically transnational activism, exchanges of knowledge and expertise at bilateral, regional or international levels, the impact of legal and mnemonic narratives outside their countries of origin, and the role of international organizations and NGOs in dealing with mass violence.

Focusing on Europe and Latin America, this conference aims to take stock of this transnational turn in justice and memory studies and to develop a socio-historical analysis of the circulation of norms, repertoires of collective action and models adopted to deal with the legacies of authoritarian regimes and armed conflicts. It seeks to trace the interconnections and mutual influences of these processes both within Europe and Latin America and between the two regions, as well as the mobilizations of European and Latin American actors in international institutions, global NGOs, or at venues on other continents.

The conference welcomes theoretically grounded empirical investigations from a range of different disciplines in the social sciences and the humanities that adopt a critical stance on post-dictatorial/post-conflict justice and memory processes and move beyond abstract and normative perspectives.

Possible topics include, but are not restricted to, the following subjects:

  • Theoretical perspectives on the study of transnational/global phenomena of dealing with the past.
  • The role of Europe and Latin America in globalizing narratives and norms of dealing with the past.
  • Circulation of ideas across national borders in various professional and social fields (e.g. law, memorialization sites and practices, historiography, forensics etc.).
  • The role of transnational advocacy networks/epistemic communities/professional associations.
  • Victims’ activism in transnational perspective (forms of mobilization, cooperation/competition, appropriation of representation etc.).
  • The interplay between various places and scales of mobilization: how are processes aimed at dealing with the past articulated on national, transnational, regional and global levels?
  • Re-appropriation and resistance of local actors to ideas and paradigms originating in other national or global venues.

 

 

The languages of the conference are English and French.

Please submit your proposal including authors’ names, email addresses and affiliations, a short CV and an abstract of around 300 words by 10 January 2017.  The conference organizers will provide a response to the proposals by 30 January 2017. Selected participants will be invited to submit their papers (max. 7,000 words including tables, figures, and references) by 10 May 2017.

Please, submit paper abstracts to: criminalizationofthepast@gmail.com

For additional information, please contact Raluca Grosescu (ralucagrosescu@gmail.com) or Laure Neumayer (laure.neumayer@wanadoo.fr).

A selection of papers will be published in English, in a special issue of an international academic journal.

Funding opportunities for travel and accommodation are available, but we ask that contributors also explore funding opportunities at their home institutions.

The conference is organized by the University of Paris Ouest Nanterre, the Institut de Sciences Sociales du Politique (CNRS), and the University of Exeter. The Cluster of Excellence LABEX Pasts in the Presents (France) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council – Care for the Future (UK) support the event within the joint funded project The Criminalization of Dictatorial Pasts in Europe and Latin America in Global Perspective.

Transnational Approaches to Memory and Justice Processes in Europe and Latina America: Victims’ activism and Trials

Transnational Approaches to Memory and Justice Processes in Europe and Latina America: Victims’ activism and Trials, workshop, University of Exeter, 7-8 November 2016 

  • Transnational Justice and Memory in Europe and Latin America (General Overview & Literature Review): James Mark & Cath Collins & Raluca Grosescu & Gruia Badescu
  • Francesca Lessa: “The Argentinean Condor Plan, the category of “transnational conspiracy” and its regional implications”.
  • Raluca Grosescu: “Travelling Jurisprudence: Circulation of Legal Reasoning between Europe and Argentina”
  • Cath Collins: “Trial dynamics in Latin America and the role of the IACtHR”
  • Mate Zombory: “Transnational interaction of jurisprudence in the early post-war period. The Nuremberg Trial and the national war trials”
  • Laure Neumayer:“Transnational mobilizations for acknowledging the communist crimes at the European Parliament”
  • Sophie Baby: “Transnational mobilization of the victims of Francoism and terrorism in Spain: some hypothesis”
  • Federica Rossi: “The ‘victims of terrorism’ in Italy. Emergence and transformation of a successful category”

Criminalization of Dictatorial Pasts in Europe and Latin America in Global Perspective

This two-year AHRC (Care for the Future) – LABEX joint funded project analyses the criminalisation of dictatorial pasts in Europe and Latin America since 1945. It considers how justice and historical narratives are produced across multiple professions, networks and spaces in two regions which have been key actors in the delineation and refinement of tools designed to address non-democratic pasts since 1945. It particularly analyses the way ideas and practices of dealing with the past have traveled across and between regions, and on a global scale.

The project is run by the University of Exeter and the Institut des Sciences Sociales du Politique de Paris (CNRS) and is coordinated by Professor James Mark (Exeter), Frederic Zalewski (ISP), Raluca Grosescu (Exeter) and Laure Neumayer (La Sorbonne).