Memory Politics and Accountability – Interview with Dr. Matt James

Dr. Matt James, University of Victoria

In this interview, the will of the people for their legitimacy and need to operate on the basis of transparency to allow their citizens to hold political power to account. For Dr. James, the willingness to openly and transparently account for the actions of those entrusted with political authority lies at the heart of democracy. In this perspective, memory politics points to the need of democracies to engage in long-term collective learning experiences with respect to the community’s shared history and in particular past injustices. According to Dr. James, there can be no accountability – as the foundational element of democracy – without memory. Commemorating the past as a collective endeavour creates a (national) political community and a sense of shared responsibility for the future.

This interview is part of the interview series ” Expert Voices on Memory Politics” realized with the financial support of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation Kanada and the Erasmus+ Program of the European Union.