Project Europeanization of National Memory Spaces
Principal investigators: Prof. Dr. Ulrich Beck, Prof. Dr. Daniel Levy, Prof. Dr. Harald Welzer
Funded by: German Research Foundation (DFG) as part of Collaborative Research Centre 536 "Reflexive Modernization"
In the first phase of Collaborative Research Centre 536, conducted in Munich, the project addressed the question of to what extent national memories are cosmopolitanized, i.e. to what extent the memories of other nations are integrated in one’s own memories and what political and cultural consequences this may have. In the course of the debates about expulsion and restitution in Germany, Austria, and Poland it was demonstrated that new forms of memory are emerging, which transcend the nation-state context and relate to Europe as a whole. As became evident, particularly from a simultaneous re-nationalization of memories, the nation state is not losing its significance. This dialectic of constructive recognition of other’s memories and re-nationalizing exclusion is termed “cosmopolitanization”.
The second phase will build on these findings to look at two key aspects: On the one hand, a group at the CMR/KWI will study how the transformation of public memory influences private forms of memory. This will be done by investigating the relationship between public and private memories by way of group discussions on the topics of the Holocaust, expulsion and Europe in Germany, Poland and Austria.
Secondly, the project will examine the interactions between the increasing legal integration of Europe, the implications of universal human rights and the politics of memory. This aims to clarify how this new European legalism is “juridifying” the politics of memory in the context of cosmopolitized sovereignty of individual European nation states (Germany, Austria and Poland) or, on the contrary, cosmopolitan legal norms are based on memories of past injustices.