Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies

History, Memory and Politics of the Past Project

globeHistory is alive as almost never before in international affairs. War crimes tribunals, truth commissions and other attempts to expose and deal with the past are proliferating. The History, Memory, and Politics of the Past Project will explore how various countries have approached and/or are now dealing with difficult aspects of their past. The Project covers all the regions of the world and different time periods in the recent history. It includes a lecture and film series, conferences, and other related events. The lecture series features speakers from GW, the Washington area, the broader US, and beyond. We often co-sponsor events with the National Security Archive and with the Sigur Center's Project on Memory and Reconciliation in East Asia.

Two of the Institute's faculty members are currently focusing their research in this field. Professor Hope M. Harrison of the History Department is working on a book examining political and popular debates in Germany about how to depict and commemorate the history of the Berlin Wall. She also teaches a master's course, Hist. 251, on the uses and misuses of history in international affairs. Professor Mary Beth Stein of the Department of Romance, German and Slavic Languages and Literatures is researching individual memory and public history at Berlin's Hohenschoenhausen Memorial Museum (the main prison of the former East German secret police, or Stasi).

University Seminars on History, Memory and Politics

In January 2009 , IERES hosted a University Seminar on History, Memory and Politics, "Working with and on Memory in Iraq." Previous events held include"The Bombing of Dresden," "The Problems of Decommunization and Retrospective Justice in Central and Eastern Europe: A Comparative Look," "History, Memory and Politics in Russia: A Multidisciplinary Approach" and "History, Memory and Politics in Germany: A Multidisciplinary Approach." For further information, please contact Professor Hope M. Harrison at

The George Washington University Seminars program was established in 1985 to foster sustained discussion of issues that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries among members of the GW faculty and their distinguished counterparts in universities, research centers, federal agencies, international organizations, and private industries throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The goal of the Seminars is to connect the research and inquiry activities of the academy with the major institutions of society, thereby ensuring a sharing of information. For more information on the University Seminar, please click here.


European Identity as Cultural Strategy: Countering Russia in the Post-Soviet Borderlands of Urkaine, Georgia, and Estonia
December 2, 2015

Ukraine's Unresolved Conflict: Why It Is Far from Frozen and What That Means
December 3, 2015

The World Youth Democracy Forum and Webcast Meeting with the 2015 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award Winner: Dr. Jamil Hasanli
December 9, 2015

Discussion with Rabbi Yeshaya Cohen
December 9, 2015

Women and Water in Central Asia and South Asia: Building a Sustainable Future
December 11, 2015

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Professor Sebastien Peyrouse co-authors articlein the November 2015 issue of Eurasian Geography and Economics entitled "Central Asia: the New Silk Road Initiative's Questionable Economic Rationality Rationality."

Professor Robert Orttung to be principal investigator of a multi-disciplinary project "Promoting Urban Sustainability in the Arctic," supported by the National Science Foundation and meant to assess the consequences of human activities in the region across a number of important dimensions.

Professor Robert Orttung featured in the Washington Post's Monkey Cage blog regarding Russia's media strategy and interviewed by the Institute of Modern Russia on effects of Russia's declining economy.

Professor Cory Welt writes a policy memo for PONARS Eurasia on media freedom and rule of law in Georgia.

Associate Dean for Research and Associate Professor Hope Harrison recently interviewed by Deutsche Welle on US-West German relations under Chancellor Helmut Schmidt.

Professor Sebastien Peyrouse publishes article on entitled "Examining Kazakhstan's Religions Contradiction."

Professor Harris Mylonas reviews Kostis Kornetis' Children of the Dictatorship: Student Resistance, Cultural Politics and the "Long 1960s" in Greece in the American Historical Review.

Professor Oleh Havrylyshyn publishes two articles: one on economic reform in Ukraine, another on transition in Ukraine.

Professor Harris Mylonas publishes article with Keith Darden about why - and how - some countries are more linguistically homogenous than others.

Associate Dean Hope M. Harrison writes article on twenty-five years of German unification for the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies.

Professor Eliot Sorel's publication Total Health for All is included in the ceremonial World Mental Health Day Volume to be observed October 10th.

Professor Sebastien Peyrouse interviewed about Turkmenistan on the Steppe Dispatches website.

Professor Harris Mylonas reviews Onur Yıldırım's Diplomacy and Displacement: Reconsidering the Turco-Greek Exchange of Populations, 1922–1934 in the Journal of Cold War Studies.

Professor Sebastien Peyrouse writes article (in Russian) on governments' responses to the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Central Asia.

Professor Sebastien Peyrouse publishes article on the perspectives and limits of Chinese-US competition, using Kazakhstan as a case study.

Professor Harris Mylonas publishes new article on nation building in Social Science Quarterly.

Professor Harris Mylonas co-authored a post with Akis Georgakellos in the Washington Post's Monkey Cage blog about upcoming elections in Greece.

Professor Harris Mylonas co-authored a policy memo with Ariel Ahram about the distinction between bounded and unbounded de facto states.

Professor Robert Orttung and Sufian Zhemukhov write an op-ed for the Moscow Times entitled "Why Has Putin Spared Ekho Moskvy?"

Professor Robert Orttung quoted in Bloomberg article about recent Russian actions in Crimea.

Professor Harris Mylonas writes article in Foreign Affairs entitled "The Agreement that could Break Europe: Euroskeptics, Eurocritics, and Life after the Bailout."

Professor Harris Mylonas interviewed by TV2 Africa about Greece's recent 'no' vote.

Professor Marlene Laruelle writes an article on Kazakhstan's World Religion Congress for the Washington Post's Monkey Cage blog.

Professor Robert Orttung writes an article on Russia for Freedom House's annual "Nations in Transit" report.

Professor Harris Mylonas publishes a book review of Dan Lainer-Vos's Sinews of the Nation: Constructing Irish and Zionist bonds in the United States (Cambridge: Polity Press,  2013) in Nationalism and Ethnic Politics.

Professor Harris Mylonas participates in H-Diplo and International Security Studies Forum roundtable on Adria Lawrence's "Imperial Rule and the Politics of Nationalism: Anti-Colonial Protest in the French Empire." A PDF can be found here (Professor Mylonas's contribution can be found on pages 8 through 12).

Professor Robert Orttung writes op-ed "Why Autocrats Love FIFA?" for the Moscow Times.

Professor Marlene Laruelle writes paper entitled "The 'Russian World' : Russia's Soft Power and Geopolitical Imagination."

Professor Marlene Laruelle writes article on Russia's interaction with far-right European groups in the most recent Russian Analytical Digest.

Professor Henry Hale co-authors piece on Russians' opinion of Ukraine in the Washington Post's blog The Monkey Cage.

Professor Marlene Laruelle interviewed by Steppe Dipatches on Central Asian states' relations with Russia and China.

Professor Sebastien Peyrouse publishes article on Central Asian states' management of religion on

Professor Marlene Laruelle publishes op-ed entitled "The Power of Soft Power in Kazakhstan" in the Monkey Cage blog of the Washington Post.

Professor Cory Welt is a guest editor (and co-authors the introduction) of a special issue of Problems of Post-Communism on Russian foreign policy.

Alexander Reisenbichler publishes an article on the creation of the Financial Stability Forum in the Review of International Political Economy.

Professor Marlene Laruelle authors article "Russia as a 'Divided Nation'" in the journal Problems of Post-Communism (also available on

Professor Kimberly Morgan and Alexander Reisenbichler (a former IERES PhD fellow) publish a chapter entitled "The German Labor Market: No Longer the Sick Man of Europe" in an e-book on the German economy. Other contributters include Peter Hall, Philippe Schmitter, and many others.

Professor Marlene Laruelle publishes article on recent presidential elections in Uzbekistan on

Professor Marlene Laruelle authors article on US sanctions on Alexander Dugin in Foreign Affairs.

Professor Harris Mylonas publishes article on events in Greece in 2013 in the European Journal of Political Research.

Professors Marlene Laruelle draws attention to Kazakhstan's attitude toward the Eurasian Union and Sebastien Peyrouse analyzes Kyrgyzstan's prospects for accession therein in the most recent edition of the Russian Analytical Digest.

Professor Robert Orttung quoted in an article in Vice News about online tactics used by EU, NATO, and Russia.

Professor Marlene Laruelle publishes a paper on the mythmaking of Novorossiya (available on

Professor Robert Orttung and two undergraduate IERES students - Elizabeth Nelson and Anthony Livshen - write an article in the Washington Post on how Russia Today operates across different language platforms on Youtube to spread Kremlin messages about Ukraine. 

Professor Eliot Sorel to lead panel on mental health in Bucharest from June 24 to June 27 as part of an international congress integrating primary care, mental care, and public health.

Professor Robert Orttung, together with students from GWU and the University of Chicago, publish an article on Russian television and the Internet.

Professor Marlene Laruelle writes an article on youth patriotic clubs in Russia (available on

Professor Marlene Laruelle publishes article entitled "The Ukrainian Crisis and its Impact on Transforming Russian Nationalism Landscape" in Ukraine and Russia: People, Politics, Propaganda and Perspectives

Professor Cory Welt was quoted by the Voice of America on the implications of Ukraine’s Minsk II cease-fire agreement.

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