European Memory in Populism explores the links between memory and populism in contemporary Europe. Focusing on circulating ideas of memory, especially European memory, in contemporary populist discourses, the book also analyses populist ideas in sites and practices of remembrance that usually tend to go unnoticed. More broadly, the theoretical heart of the book reflects upon the similarities, differences, and slippages between memory, populism, nationalism, and cultural racism and the ways in which social memory contributes to give substance to various ideas of what constitutes the ‘people’ in populist discourse and beyond.

Bringing together a group of political scientists, anthropologists, and cultural and memory studies scholars, the book illuminates the relationship between memory and populism from different angles and in different contexts. The contributors to the volume discuss dominant notions of European heritage that circulate in the public sphere and in political discourse, and consider how the politics of fear relates to such notions of European heritage and identity across and beyond Europe and the European Union. Ultimately, this volume will shed light on how notions of a shared European heritage and memory can be used not only to include and connect Europeans, but also to exclude some of them.

Investigating the ways in which nationalist populist forces mobilize the idea of a shared, homogeneous European civilization, European Memory in Populism will be of interest to scholars and students in the fields of European studies, heritage and memory studies, migration studies, anthropology, political science and sociology.

Chapters 1, 4, 6, and 10 of this book are freely available as a downloadable Open Access PDF under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No-Derivatives 4.0 license.

chapter |25 pages


ByAyhan Kaya, Chiara De Cesari

chapter 1|21 pages

(Why) do Eurosceptics believe in a common European heritage?

ByChiara De Cesari, Ivo Bosilkov, Arianna Piacentini
Size: 0.20 MB

chapter 2|22 pages

Anti-totalitarian monuments in Ljubljana and Brussels

From nationalist reconciliation to the open rehabilitation of fascism 1
ByGal Kirn

chapter 3|22 pages

The use of the past in populist political discourse

Justice and Development Party rule in Turkey
ByAyhan Kaya, Ayşe Tecmen

chapter 4|21 pages

‘A great bliss to keep the sensation of conquest alive!’

The emotional politics of the Panorama 1453 Museum in Istanbul
ByGönül Bozoğlu
Size: 1.32 MB

chapter 5|16 pages

The Mediterranean as a mirror and ghost of the colonial past

The role of cultural memory in the production of populist narratives in Italy
ByGabriele Proglio

chapter 6|25 pages

Textures of urban fears

The affective geopolitics of the ‘oriental rug’
ByLuiza Bialasiewicz, Lora Sariaslan
Size: 5.56 MB

chapter 7|20 pages

Social media and affective publics

Populist passion for religious roots
ByErnst van den Hemel

chapter 8|18 pages

Caring for some and not Others

Museums and the politics of care in post-colonial Europe
ByMarkus Balkenhol, Wayne Modest

chapter 10|29 pages

Between appropriation and appropriateness

Instrumentalizing dark heritage in populism and memory?
BySusannah Eckersley
Size: 8.60 MB

chapter 11|18 pages

Memory games and populism in postcommunist Poland

ByIreneusz Paweł Karolewski

chapter 12|19 pages

Mizrahi memory-of and memory-against ‘the people’

Remembering the 1950s
ByHilla Dayan

chapter |18 pages

Final commentary

Learning from the past(s)? Contesting hegemonic memories
ByRuth Wodak

chapter |5 pages


Against populism: memory for an age of transformation
ByAstrid Erll