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Integrating the past: regional integration and historical reckoning in Central and Eastern Europe

By John Gledhill


This article considers how regional integration in Europe has informed processes of collective remembrance and transitional justice in Central and Eastern Europe. By taking the cases of Romania, Poland and the Czech Republic, two claims are made. First, although European institutions have not initiated top-down projects of historical reckoning, activists who have an interest in promoting engagement with the recent past have been able to draw the political, financial and/ or judicial weight of European institutions behind particular reckoning initiatives, on an ad hoc basis. Second, the nature of the projects that have been realized with the assistance of European resources has varied across the region, according to the extent of prior efforts to promote collective remembrance and transitional justice at the national level. Where there have previously been constraints on historical reckoning, activists have drawn "Europe" behind efforts to promote national-level confrontations with particularly national experiences of communist rule. By contrast, where there has previously been extensive state sponsorship of collective remembrance projects and/or processes of transitional justice, European resources have been used in support of efforts to raise awareness of the repressions of communist rule, and transitions from that system of rule, among a wider, international audience

Topics: DAW Central Europe, DJK Eastern Europe, JN Political institutions (Europe), JZ International relations
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1080/00905992.2011.580733
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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