Thus, memory must be analysed as a tool for doing harm to democracy and social cohesion. Second, large-scale economic and social transformations of the past decades, particularly the rise of inequalities and disappearance of traditional certainties, have led citizens to search for new sources of solidarity.
This helps to explain the attraction of populism and can aid the development of (memory) policy responses to safeguard and reinvent democratic governance. Third, new multi-level modes of governance have redistributed the available symbolic and material technologies of governments with particular impacts for the formation of memory policy and policy communities.
WG3 will work towards a critical understanding of how new forms of governance give shape to new assemblages of memory politics and vice versa. Through such analysis, we aim to identify and develop mechanisms and approaches to thwart destructive deployments of the past with a view to deepening and strengthening democratic structures. Through a specific engagement with relevant policy communities this work will provide strategies to counteract those forces using the past as a means to undermine institutional democracy.
Engagement with policy and civil society actors will be a particular focus of WG3. Developing new models of memorialisation that attempt to daylight slow memory processes in relation to established and emerging political actors will be the practical approach.
WG3 will map and seek to exploit the policy implications that arise when memory is treated as disconnected from sites of extreme events and framed in broader terms.