Unwritten IR: A Clash of Commemorations?

Open to the Public
Nador u. 9, Monument Building
Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - 5:30pm
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Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm

International Relations and European Studies Department cordially invites:

Tuesday, March 22, 17.30

Monument Building 201

Chair: Alexander Astrov

Unwritten IR: A Clash of Commemorations?

This session of the Unwritten IR series hosts the talk by Maria Mälksoo, the author of The Politics of Becoming European: A Study of Polish and Baltic post-Cold War Security Imaginaries, followed-up by the screening of Estonian documentary Aljöša.

Cosmopolitanising the Criminality of Communism: Competing Securitisation of the Soviet Legacy in Europe

This talk builds a conceptual framework for analysing the contestation of juridical regulation of the social remembrance of totalitarian communism in Europe. It maps recent proliferation of the attempts at mnemonical juridification of the criminality of communism in Europe, and examines the

rivalry between different mnemonic actors for the right to shape the ‘common memory of Europe’, i.e. to influence the normative and institutional formation of a pan-European remembrance of communism against the backdrop of the recent debates in multiple political fora (i.e. the European Union, the Council of Europe, European Court of Human Rights, and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe). The talk polemicises the concept of cosmopolitanisation of memory and analyses its interpretive utility for shedding light on the process of pan-European institutionalisation of the public remembrance of totalitarian communism. The other two conceptual pillars of the discussion are borrowed from the politics of recognition and ontological security theory.

Maria Mälksoo is Senior Researcher in International Relations at the Institute of Government and Politics, University of Tartu, Estonia. Her research interests are in the intersection of memory, security and identity politics, and critical IR theory. She is the author of The Politics of Becoming European: A Study of Polish and Baltic post-Cold War Security Imaginaries (Routledge, 2010) and has published in the European Journal of International Relations, Security Dialogue, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, in several edited volumes and Estonian IR journals. Her current research project (co-funded by the Estonian Science Foundation MOBILITAS postdoctoral grant and HERA) focuses on the competing securitisation of the communist legacy in Poland, Ukraine, Russia, and the Baltic states.

Aljöša is the 2008 documentary by Estonian director Meelis Muhu, depicting tumultuous events in Tallinn in the wake of the relocation of the Soviet WWII monument.