Cover Osteuropa 8/2010

In Osteuropa 8/2010

Identity and Instrument
History and Foreign Policy in Eastern Europe

Alvydas Nikžentaitis

Deutsche Fassung


The politics of history is interest politics. Asserting one’s own views of the past is a central instrument of international relations. But insistence on recognition of one’s own form of remembrance does not always have to be deployed in a confrontational way. Examples from East Central and Eastern Europe show that the politics of history can just as easily contribute to the intensification of interstate conflicts as form the basis of regional cooperation. If two states exclude the sore spots of history, they can improve their relations, but the past will catch up to them. It can also come to unexpected disruptions, if the remembrance cultures of two societies reach back into the past to differing extents.

(Osteuropa 8/2010, pp. 105–112)