CPCS Director David Wood and CPCS Senior Fellow Hans Gutbrod spoke at an event at the Chatham House in October, 2021. This event explored how to address memory and commemoration in the former Soviet states, considering their role in political processes and violent conflict. How the past is remembered and commemorated plays a large role – perhaps too large – in contemporary political debates and in how conflicts are negotiated. Perceptions of history influence people’s actions and are used to judge or dismiss the actions of others. Nowhere is this more so than in the political, territorial and social debates and disputes across the former Soviet Union. This event examined how to address the problems caused by entrenched memory debates – and proposes a framework for ‘ethical political commemoration’ for use across historical enquiry, political processes, and conflict transformation initiatives. The speakers explored the topic through the context of Turkey and the Armenian genocide, as well as more broadly through their own experiences in conflict transformation and peace processes.
A recording of the event is available below.