Changing generations, negative memory, and non-economic resources
in Memory and the future of Europe
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This chapter examines how Europe can address its crisis at the beginning of the twentieth century – and perhaps even take advantage of it – by reengaging its citizenry to create a democracy at the supranational level by transforming direct memories of total war into a more durable social imaginary. While collective memories of Europe’s age of total war helped push the Union through two phases of integration, it is clear that they can no longer play this role. This chapter argues that developments such as rising rates of intra-European marriage and the advent of the first generation of Europeans that grew up on a continent of open borders, combined with civic education focusing on teaching national history within its European context, can help ground the intra-European solidarity necessary for a true supranational democracy. In this way it can combat the negative memories spread by populism and reengage the constructive resources of collective memory.

Memory and the future of Europe

Rupture and integration in the wake of total war

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