Historical Memory and Foreign Policy

kutsutilaisuus · Webinar · 19.01.2021 16:00 - 17:30


In foreign policy debates we often encounter references to historical events that are supposed to teach us something with relevance to the present. For instance, the Western policy of appeasement in the 1930s, the contemporary authoritarian slide, the Great Depression as well as national suffering due to wars and foreign occupations are often mentioned in current foreign policy debates. Why and how do political leaders refer to past events in foreign policy debates? How do they shape collective memories in the pursuit of international agendas?

The webinar analyses these questions from the perspective of Russian, Chinese, North American and European experts. It also introduces a journal special issue that examines the topic through highly relevant case studies.

Link to the special issue: https://link.springer.com/journal/41311/volumes-and-issues/57-6


Opening Remarks

Juha Jokela

Programme Director, FIIA

Juha Jokela is the Programme Director of the European Union research programme at FIIA. His current research interests include political implications of brexit, differentiated integration (in EU’s external relations), and the EMU reforms. His previous projects and publications include political and security developments in the Arctic, EU’s role in the G20, EU’s Asia policy, Europeanization of foreign policy, and Finland’s EU policy. Previously he has worked in the EUISS as a Senior Associated Analyst and Senior Visiting Research Fellow, Advisor in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, and Research Fellow and Director of the Network for European Studies at the University of Helsinki. Dr Jokela holds a PhD from the University of Bristol (UK).

Authors’ introduction

Marco Siddi

Senior Research Fellow, FIIA

Marco Siddi is Senior Research Fellow at FIIA, where he focuses primarily on EU-Russia relations, European politics and EU energy and climate policy. His publications include the monograph European Identities and Foreign Policy Discourses on Russia: From the Ukraine to the Syrian Crisis (Routledge, 2020) and articles in various academic journals, including Europe-Asia Studies, Politics, Geopolitics, The International Spectator, German Politics, Russian Politics, Journal of Contemporary European Studies and International Politics.

Authors’ introduction

Lina Klymenko

Researcher, Tampere University

Lina Klymenko is a Researcher in the Politics Programme (International Relations) at Tampere University and an Adjunct Professor (Docent) at the Karelian Institute at the University of Eastern Finland. She is interested in studying memory and identity in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union, political language and foreign policy, interpretive research methodology and methods in political science, and teaching and learning politics. She is currently involved in the research project Cultural Statecraft in International Relations: The Case of Russia funded by Academy of Finland at Tampere University.

Comments and debate

Olga Malinova

Professor, Higher School of Economics, Moscow

Olga Malinova is Professor of the School of Politics and Governance at National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow, and Chief Research Fellow of the Institute of Scientific Information for Social Sciences, Russian Academy of Sciences. Her research interests are in the fields of political ideologies and political discourse, symbolic politics, politics of memory and Russian identity construction. Her recent publications are “The embarrassing centenary: reinterpretation of the 1917 Revolution in the official historical narrative of post-Soviet Russia (1991–2017)” in Nationalities Papers, 2018, 46(2): 272-289 and “Russian Identity and the ‘Pivot to the East’”, in Problems of Post-Communism (2019, 66(4): 227-239).

Comments and debate

Zheng Wang

Professor, Seton Hall University

Dr. Zheng Wang is the Director of the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPCS) and Professor in the School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University. He is also a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and a member of the National Committee on United States-China Relations (NCUSCR). Dr. Wang is the author of the book Never Forget National Humiliation: Historical Memory in Chinese Politics and Foreign Relations (Columbia University Press, 2012). This book received the International Studies Association’s Yale H. Ferguson Award for the “Book of the Year.” Dr. Wang’s 2018 book, Memory Politics, Identity and Conflict: Historical Memory as a Variable (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018) aims to contribute to methodological discussions concerning the use of historical memory as a variable to explain global conflict and political actions.

Comments and debate

Aline Sierp

Assistant Professor, Maastricht University

Aline Sierp is Assistant Professor in European Studies at Maastricht University (NL). She holds a PhD in Comparative European Politics and History from the University of Siena (IT). Her research interests cover collective memory, questions of identity and European integration. Before joining the University of Maastricht, Dr Sierp worked as researcher at the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site (DE). She is the author of History, Memory and Transeuropean Identity: Unifying Divisions (Routledge, 2014), co-editor (with C. Karner) of Dividing United Europe: From Crisis to Fragmentation (Routledge, 2019) and of Agency in Transnational Memory Politics (Berghahn, 2020, with J. Wüstenberg). Dr Sierp is the co-founder and co-president of the Memory Studies Association and the Council of European Studies’ Research Network on Transnational Memory and Identity in Europe.