In recent years, a number of countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) have issued controversial memory laws and judgements featuring nationalistic historical narratives and putting democratic standards under pressure. This signals a broader shift towards anti-liberal discourse, hate speech, the rise of far-right and populist movements and a greater interference with academic freedom. The recent memory politics in CEE and beyond has largely been driven by dystopian visions of the past, which memory laws have been certifying as legitimate and obligatory for social reproduction through school curricula, street renaming, monuments, commemoration dates and criminal sanctions against denialist and revisionist accounts. On their surface, these visions are compatible with democracy and seek to build the idealized – utopian – present and future. However, in portraying the past as exclusively dystopian, the risk of undermining democracy increases.
We look forward to welcoming you on July 3-5, 2023 for our Annual Conference entitled "Islands and Ocean: Public Law in a Plural World." The conference will take place at the Victoria University of Wellington, in New Zealand. We will be announcing more details about the conference soon, including financial support to early career and global south scholars!