The Public Policy of Memory: Contestations, formations and models – University of Copenhagen

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The Public Policy of Memory: Contestations, formations and models

Societies emerging from violent conflicts face difficult decisions in terms of dealing with the past. These decisions are conditioned by a number of factors that include:
(1) How violence was ended (i.e. victory, defeat, compromise)
(2) the type of transition (i.e. from authoritarianism to democracy, from contested power to legitimate order)
(3) the existing political culture (i.e. the cultural constitution of political identities and activities)
(4) The modes and materials for circulating memories between horizontal and vertical planes (i.e. between societal groups and the state).

This workshop aims to develop the contact points between memory studies and policy analysis in a comparative exploration of collective memory formations and the ‘public policy of memory’ in the aftermath of violent conflict.
As policy processes may have different trajectories in different political cultures the workshop seeks to engage the concept of political culture in order to take into consideration specific contexts and dynamics used to articulate demands and relationships of power in the ‘governance of memory’. Understanding the kind of role(s) that memory can play in politics depend on our conceptualisation of what ‘collective memory’ is, both as a thing and a process.
In terms of policy processes we intend to consider ‘the law’ not just as the summation of forces that shaped it, but as a governing discourse in itself, providing frameworks for the discursive creation of memories. Furthermore, taking into consideration the ‘decentralisation’ of memories of war, amplified by new technologies and media, the workshop reflects on the implications for policy makers in shaping collective narratives and enforcing singular terms of peace.

Speakers:

  • Professor Mark Wolfgram (Oklahoma State University): A Model for Comparative Collective Memory Studies: Regime Types, Cultural Traditions, and Difficult Histories
  • Dr. Cillian McGrattan (University of Ulster): Admitting the Inadmissible in Northern Ireland: The 2013 Special Advisors Legislation
  • Dr. Sara Dybris McQuaid (Aarhus University/CRIC): Developing Contact-points Between Policy Studies and Memory Studies
  • Dr. Joshka Wessels (University of Copenhagen/CRIC): Digital modes of Memories of War

Pre-registration is necessary for participation, and places are limited. Please register at cric@cric.ku.dk no later than November 28th, 2014.