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Historical Analogies to Perserve Image of Importance

Second panel of the Academic Event titled Memory and Historical Analogies in World Politics was dedicated to the question how politicians, academics and general public use history to achieve certain goals and present themselves as important in the global arena. Newest conflicts and crisis in Europe and elsewhere are bringing new light to this phenomenon.

Examples from the USA, Russia and Poland show each country tends to present itself as important today as in the often long-gone, “golden ages”. Certain historical events, such as Second World War or historical periods of economic and political importance are being used as legitimating factors for nowadays political goals.

Mrs. Ayse Zarakol, presented the case of the USA to show how academic discourse in this country repeatedly questioned the possibility of other countries rise in global power arena. The lack of criticism and objectivism in academic papers can lead to misunderstanding of these countries which are seen as “the others”.

Mrs. Elisaveta Gaufman, analysed discourse used by general public and some academics in Russia and Ukraine regarding latest conflict in Ukraine. The conflict brought hidden collective memory on fascism which resulted in pro-Russian activists marking pro-Ukrainian activists as new fascists across social media. She pointed out that the term fascism is often used; there are several new expressions to compare the current conflict with World War II, e.g. “Putler” or “Putin Jugend” referring to Hitler Jugend in Nazi-Germany.  

  • Ayse Zarakol‚ University Lecturer in Politics and International Relations, Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge
  • Elizaveta Gaufman‚ Lecturer and PhD candidate, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen
  • Dominika Wozniak‚ PhD Fellow, Faculty of Journalism and Political Science, University of Warsaw
  • Jelena Subotić‚ Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Georgia State University
  • Orli Fridman‚ Associate Professor, Faculty of Media and Communications (FMK), Singidunum University