Social memory in the Balkans: New project awarded by the Resarch Council


Recent political developments have challenged the self-perception of the EU as a union of states sharing a set of universal democratic values opposed to a history plagued by totalitarianism, political repression and genocide. This is particularly evident in the Western Balkans, where intense controversy over the Second World War and its aftermath have affected social and inter-ethnic, as well as diplomatic relations.

The project "Segmented Narratives, Conflicting Histories:  Social memory about the Second World War in the Western Balkans, 1989–2018" aims to analyse the shaping of social memory about fascism, collaboration and communism in the context of the Second World War in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina since the end of communism. By combining content analyses of academic knowledge-production, media discourses, schoolbooks and curricula with semi-structured interviews of teachers, along with a social network analysis, the integrated multi-methods approach will set new standards for research on social memory. It will moreover provide a knowledge-base that can be used to better understand and address the tensions among Europeans with sometimes conflicting experiences and perceptions of the past.