Public lecture


On 28 October 2015 Dr. Tuomas Forsberg, professor of International Relations at the University  of Tampere will present his research on

Overcoming Memory Conflicts: Russia, its Neighbours and the Second World War

The presentation will take place in the framework of the Granö Lecture Series sponsored and organized by the Finnish Institute in Estonia ( It is co-organized by the Centre for EU-Russia Studies at the University of Tartu. It takes place at Lossi 36, room 214, starting at 16:15.


The presentation is based on a recent article that asks the question how memory conflicts between states and nations can be overcome.  In particular, the role of apologies and forgiveness are being critically discussed as means of reconciliation. It will argue that practices related to apologizing and forgiveness help reduce conflicts and foster cooperation between states and nations even when these are imperfect. In a first step, a theory of various mechanisms of how memory conflicts and historical problems affect current relations between states will be outlined, to then discuss the concept of forgiveness and its potential usefulness in influencing these mechanisms. Two ideal models of apology and forgiveness, maximal and minimal, will be distinguished but a mixed model, imperfect apology, is seen as a more potential approach to forgiveness and reconciliation. Empirically, the article looks at the role of the memory of the Second World War in relations between Russia and its three western neighbours: Finland, Estonia and Poland.

Tuomas Forsberg has been Professor of International relation at Tampere since 2008. Before that held the chair of political science at Helsinki University. His research focuses on  international politics and foreign policy theory, peace and conflict studies, memory politics, European security and European Union foreign and security policy. His latest projects are concerned with Russian foreign policy research.