History, Memory, and Trans-European Identity
By Aline Sierp
Routledge – 2014 – 192 pages
This book questions the presupposition voiced by many historians and political scientists that political experiences in Europe continue to be interpreted in terms of national history, and that a European community of remembrance still does not exist. By tracing the evolution of specific memory cultures in two successor countries of the Fascist/Nazi regime (Italy and Germany) and the impact of structural changes upon them, the book investigates wider democratic processes, particularly concerning the conservation and transmission of values and the definition of identity on different levels. It argues that the creation of a transnational European memory culture does not necessarily imply the erasure of national and local forms of remembrance. It rather means the creation of a further supranational arena where diverging memories can find their expression and can be dealt with in a different way. Through the triangulation of agents of memory construction, constraints and opportunities and actual portrayals of the past, this volume explores the difficulties faced by a multinational entity like the EU in reaching some kind of consensus on such a sensitive subject as history.
Introduction. 1. History, Memory and Public Policy 2. Forty Years of National Memory Constructions 3. The Europeanisation of National Memory? 4. A European Memory? Conclusions.
Aline Sierp is currently Lecturer in European Studies at Maastricht University. She holds a Ph.D. in Comparative European Politics and History from the University of Siena. Before joining the University of Maastricht, she worked as researcher at the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site.