1 October 2021

Maria Mälksoo launches a Volkswagen Foundation collaborative research project at CMS

CMS Senior Researcher Dr Maria Mälksoo launches a new collaborative research project today, supported by the Volkswagen Foundation. The project is titled ‘The Challenge of Populist Memory Politics for Europe: Towards Effective Responses to Militant Legislation on the Past’ (MEMOCRACY). It has received €1.2 million as part of the Challenges for Europe-initiative from the Volkswagen Foundation for 2021-2024.

The research consortium is led by Prof. Angelika Nußberger at the Institute of Eastern European and Comparative Law, University of Cologne, Germany. The other project participants are Dr Uladzislau Belavusau (University of Amsterdam, Centre for International and European Law and T.M.C. Asser Instituut, The Hague, Netherlands) and Dr Aleksandra Gliszczynska-Grabias (Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw and Poznan Human Rights Center, Poland). Dr Mälksoo will lead the University of Copenhagen team of the project, supported by a post-doc (to be hired for 2022-2024).

The MEMOCRACY-project takes the recent proliferation of memory laws in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) as its starting point. These memory laws have been extending the German prototype of militant democracy, often in tandem with the rising populism and the erosion of fundamental rights in the CEE region. The research consortium will conduct in-depth case studies of the memory laws and policies of Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, Hungary and Russia over the past decade, analysing their compatibility with the democratic standards as stipulated by the European Union and the Council of Europe. The goal is to offer a novel conceptual framework for understanding the memory wars and laws in the CEE region, in order to contribute to current public debates about the future of liberal democracy and the frames of democratic memory governance in the transnational European space.

Read more from the Volkswagen Stiftung Project Portal.