This book discusses the diverse practices and discourses of memory politics in Russia and Eastern Europe. It argues that currently prevailing conservativism has a long tradition, which continued even in Communist times, and is different to conservatism in the West, which can accommodate other viewpoints within liberal democratic systems. It considers how important history is for conservatism, and how history is reconstituted according to changing circumstances. It goes on to examine in detail values which are key to conservatism, such as patriotism, Christianity and religious life, and the traditional model of the family, the importance of the sovereign national state within globalization, and the emphasis on a strong paternal state, featuring hierarchy, authority and political continuity. The book concludes by analysing how far states in the region are experiencing a common trend and whether different countries’ conservative narratives are reinforcing each other or are colliding.

chapter |14 pages


Conservatism and memory politics

chapter 2|20 pages

A conservative turn in a patriarchal society?

The entangled memory of female political activism in post-Soviet Russia 1

chapter 3|17 pages

Non-traditional sexual relationships

Law, forgetting, and the conservative political discourse in Russia

chapter 4|14 pages

How to conserve Kertbeny's grave?

A case of post-communist queer necrophilia

chapter 5|17 pages

Literary theosis and witnessing the Gulag

Varlam Shalamov's Kolyma Stories and Evgeni Vodolazkin's The Aviator

chapter 7|20 pages

Memory and leverage

Russia's history policing and the remembrance of 1956 in Hungary

chapter 8|19 pages

A conservative turn in Belarus?

Exploring the normative power potential of the Russian conservative agenda

chapter 9|11 pages

Serbia and Russia

Between piety and politics

chapter 10|14 pages

Paradigm change in Holocaust remembrance

Instrumentalizing conservatism

chapter 11|19 pages

Dilemma over Stalin

Confronting the Great Patriotic War and the reputation of Russia

chapter 12|22 pages

Victory Day, family style

Grassroots war commemoration, collective memory habits, and the shaping of public affect

chapter 13|16 pages

The routinisation of conservatism

Key stakeholders of patriotic education in contemporary Russia

chapter 14|20 pages

Whose turn, for whom?

Conservative values and Putin's social contract