Articulating Change and Responsibility: Identity, Memory, and the Use of Historical Narratives in German Parliamentary Debates on Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

Maximilian Tkocz, Holger Stritzel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Conceptually contributing to the literature on culture/identity, ontological security, and narrative, this article explores Germany's articulation of historical memory in light of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. We argue that this is done through (re)interpretation and contestation, combing biographical continuity and narrative adjustment. Based on an analysis of 107 speeches in the German parliament, we claim that German foreign policy discourse is marked by a tension between different principles which are rooted in a normative dispute among Germans seeking to draw the ‘right lessons’ from the country's history. This dispute is exemplified by ongoing German attempts to contextualise and situate their own past within the present through political narratives.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGerman Politics
Early online date12 Sept 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Sept 2023

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