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An escape from the embrace of politics. A study into the cultures of remembrance as a means to encourage a historical dialogue in Lithuanian-Russian relations

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Safronovas, Vasilijus

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Abstract This article focuses on the factors inhibiting a productive rethinking of the past in contemporary Lithuanian-Russian relations. The rethinking of the past is understood as a process facilitating the reconsideration of historical meanings through adjusting them to the expectations and values of the contemporary society. The author argues that in this process historical research — as an important tool for encouraging the co-existence of communities — should fulfil certain social functions. Having chosen the Lithuanian-Russian communication space as a case, the author emphasises the need to develop an interest in mutual knowledge of cultures of remembrance in this space. Outlining the strategies specific to the prevailing cultures of remembrance in contemporary Russia and Lithuania, the author addresses the issue of their proper relationship, as well as that of the appropriateness of historical policy. The criminalisation of certain evaluations of the past and the academic dialogue between historians are regarded as two opposite extremes of historical policy actually existing in the Lithuanian-Russian communication space. The author stresses that research into the values and interpretations of the past peculiar to certain social groups in both Lithuania and Russia may be considered as a basis for further development of the historical dialogue. It is assumed that such research may contribute to the improvement in the field of politics of history.
Keywords Russia; Lithuania; bilateral relations; history politics; coexistence; coming to terms with the past; culture of remembrance
Classification General Sociology, Basic Research, General Concepts and History of Sociology, Sociological Theories; International Relations, International Politics, Foreign Affairs, Development Policy
Document language English
Publication Year 2012
Page/Pages p. 4-12
Journal Baltic Region (2012) 2
ISSN 2079-8555
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works