On 1 May, a new research project RePAST – Strengthening European Integration through the analysis of conflicting discourses: revisiting the past, anticipating the future was launched. University of Ljubljana (Faculty of Social Sciences) is one of 12 consortium partners from all over Europe. The principal investigator of the University of Ljubljana’s team is Dr Rok Zupančič, Assistant Professor at the Defence Research Centre. Currently, Mr Faris Kočan contributes as the main researcher. The project RePAST, which will last for 3 years, is financed by the European Union in the framework of Horizon2020 research programme (the consortium has been awarded with €2,5 million).
Building at the nexus of conflict analysis, the theory of European integration and Common Foreign and Security Policy/Common Security and Defence Policy of the EU, each of mutually intertwined work packages explores one of the domains (fields) that arise from the ‘conflicting past’: i) official and oral history, ii) journalistic discourses, iii) art and popular culture, and iv) political discourse and politics. These domains have been chosen, as they have a significant impact not only on further integration of the European continent, but also the internal integration of eight European states that will be analysed in the course of the project: Ireland, Greece, Cyprus, Germany, Poland, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Spain (eight societies, in which the ‘troubled past’ still causes several conflicts). The team at the Faculty of Social Sciences will be responsible for conducting analysis in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The project builds its enthusiasm around the process of European integration, which is, in the recent period, due to radicalization, reactionary policies, populism, migrant and refugee crisis, and the financial crisis, facing major challenges. In the light of old antagonisms and anti-European feelings, failed disclosure continues to be the one that co-shapes our everyday lives. Up to this point, the problematic past was only dealt with in the context of national case studies and within certain fields of science, which makes it impossible to compare and strengthen the post-conflict theory. On the other hand, RePAST is based on interdisciplinary approach and is aiming to provide an insight into how European societies are coping with their problematic past today and how such conflicting discourses can be bridged through a common approach.
The purpose of the project is not academic only; inter alia, one of the project aims is prepare policy recommendations for both the EU member states and the EU as an institution to address the issues arising from the ‘troubled past’.
More information on the project is available at www.repast.eu