COST-Project "Social psychological dynamics of historical representations in the enlarged European Union"

The GEI has been a member of the EU-financed COST-Network on the social psychological dynamics of historical representations since January 2013. The project runs until November 2016. Inga Niehaus is a member of the COST-Management Committee. In January 2014 the GEI hosted a COST-Conference on remembering World War I, organised by the Department Media | Transformation.

The COST-Network focuses on the social representations of history. These social representations play a vital role in forming a group’s identity. They have a broad social and political impact, in particular since they provide some of the cultural contents that accompany identity changes following societal transformations. In Europe, these representations are fragmented between nations or ethnic groups. They elicit group-based emotions that influence behaviours and may lead to intergroup conflicts or reconciliation.

The aim of the COST Action is to advance knowledge on the role played by social representations of history in processes of ethnic, national, and European identity construction and intergroup conflicts.

The COST Action coordinates research on:

  1. the psychological antecedents of lay representations of history;
  2. their content and structure;
  3. their transmission through history textbooks and other media; and
  4. their social psychological effects in shaping attitudes.

A central goal of the Action is to stimulate scientific cooperation among social psychologists and historians sharing an interest for history education from a wide range of countries. This will be done through

  • four Working groups,
  • two international conferences,
  • Short-Term Scientific Missions,
  • a summer school and
  • a dedicated website.

Focussed dissemination activities will ensure a high impact in both academic and public domains.

Project Leader

  • Prof. Laurent LICATA, Université Libre de Bruxelles

Financed By

  • European Union


  • 2013 - 2016