Interview with Peo Hansen – Past Injustices, Current Realities

Dr. Peo Hansen is a Professor at Linköping University, Sweden. His research interest lies in the contemporary as well as historical development of European integration. He has written extensively on the questions of migration, citizenship and identity in European integration.

In this interview,  Hansen discusses how memory politics in the EU still “looks old-fashioned” as it does not fully represent the democracy through which it is shaped. More specifically, he states that “collective memory around the EU politics is extremely selective.” Debates around colonialism, for instance, are only just gaining traction.

And while there is still work to be done in bringing this past to the forefront, he observes that there is positive development coming to terms with past injustices in Sweden. The Church of Sweden apologizing to the Sámi people is one important example. There have also been increased discussions and awareness in Sweden regarding the integration of older and newer minority groups into the contemporary identity of the country. Indeed, migration continues to play a central role shaping Swedish narratives around memory politics.

This interview is part of the activities: the project “European and North American Perspectives on Commemorating and Addressing Past Injustices” is co-funded by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation Ottawa and the Jean Monnet Network “European Memory Politics” is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. The European Union support for the production of publications does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors and cannot be held responsi­ble for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.