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About us Practical matters How to find us F.J. (Florian) Lippert, Dr

F.J. (Florian) Lippert, Dr

Associate Professor (UHD) and Vice Chair European Culture and Literature, Director Research Centre for the Study of Democratic Cultures and Politics
Profile picture of F.J. (Florian) Lippert, Dr

Current Projects

rEUnify: A Comparative Study of National Perceptions regarding German Reunification

Europe for Citizens - European Remembrance Project, funded by the European Commission's Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA).

Project consortium partners: Jan Nowak-JezioraƄski College of Eastern Europe (KEW), Warsaw; Chair group European Culture and Literature (Dr. Florian Lippert), University of GroningenInstitute for European Politics (IEP), Berlin; EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy, Prague; Euro Créative, Strasbourg

Groningen Citizens' Conference 30 Years of German Unity - What's Next? - Watch the conference online.

The reunification of Germany has been a key event in recent European history. It is also a turning point in the construction of the European Union and the transformation of Central-Eastern Europe. German unity may seem "natural" today, especially for younger generations, but in 1990, the prospect of a reunification between East and West Germany aroused strong reactions from its neighbours. This project studies the German reunification through a comparative analysis of historical memories and diverging perceptions about this event in Germany and several of its neighbouring countries - the Czech Republic, France, the Netherlands, and Poland. Additionally, it opens intergenerational and multinational discussions on the perceptions of this specific event among civil societies (with specific attention to European youth, for whom German reunification often appears to be a very distant event). Mutual understanding about German reunification and its impact on Europe, including processes such as the democratic transition of Central-Eastern Europe, is to foster among the European academic world and civil societies in the Czech Republic, France, the Netherlands, Germany and Poland. 30 years after the reunification of Germany, it is time to draw some lessons from this process which is key to the EU developments and occupies a central place in European common memory.

In line with the Europe for Citizens programme, the general objective of rEUnify is to contribute to citizens’ understanding of the Union, its history and its diversity. By studying the reunification of Germany through a comparative analysis of national perceptions, we aim to create a better understanding of European diversity and the intertwining between EU member states. German reunification cannot be understood through an exclusively German-national prism. While some see it as a “European success story” that transformed East Germany into a European liberal democracy and considerably contributed to similar transitions in Central Eastern Europe, others point to the flaws and the difficulties of this process which still affect contemporary power relations in the EU. By addressing these and other perspectives, this project also complements the upcoming European Commission initiative on the ‘Future of Europe’: If we want to discuss our common future, a necessary starting point is to recognize achievements and conflicts of our common European past. We believe that learning lessons from German (and more generally European) reunification is key in the strengthening of the EU political unity and of the sense of belonging among European citizens.

Based on these insights, the project, conducted by an international consortium of partners from the Czech Republic, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Poland, has published a research study about German reunification in comparative perspectives. Following an academic opening conference in Berlin, a series of public outreach events in Groningen, Strasbourg, Kraków and Liberec was offered. These events in cities close to the German border attracted many citizens for whom relations with Germany are a part of their daily lives.  Events began with two short keynote speeches from one German and one local eminent personality (academic, politician, journalist) to introduce the theme of this bilateral relation within the context of German (and European) reunification. Another crucial element were intergenerational discussions: Citizens of different ages shared their individual perceptions on German reunification with the public. Panel included individuals between 18 and 30 years of age (who have known Germany only as a unified country), individuals from 35 to 50 years of age (who grew up in the context of the 1990s transitions and possibly witnessed the German reunification as young adults), and individuals of over 60 years of age (people who experienced divided Germany and Europe). At the end of each event, an exhibition – created by a local student group – on the relations between their country and Germany was displayed. The event series was concluded with a conference in the City Hall of Dresden, at which results were presented and discussed.

Further documentation and photographs of all events can be found here.


Current Ideals of "Cultural Sameness" within Europe

Research project awarded with a Netherlands Institute for Addvanced Study in the Humanities and Scial Sciences (NIAS) Fellowship

Idea(l)s of cultural sameness within Europe have had a long history. On the one hand, they have been used to promote inclusion, integration and cosmopolitanism, e.g. in the context of the “ever closer” EU. On the other hand, today even anti-migration movements and nationalist parties defend their exclusionary and discriminatory agendas by referring to an alleged sameness at an explicitly European scale – be it by means of “European Patriotism” (Identitarian Movement, Pegida) or in the rightwing-party rally “Towards a Common Sense Europe”. This project will investigate such changing idea(l)s of “cultural sameness” in political communication and compare them with citizens’ views.


PhD supervisions as daily supervisor

Tomás Gaete Altamirano, Memes and Political Attitudes. University of Groningen and Universidad de la Frontera, Chile. Defense passed with distinction, 2020.

Leonardo ArriagadaCG-art: An aesthetic discussion of the relationship between artistic creativity and computation. University of Groningen, 2020-2023.

Paola González SalasReconstruction of the spaces of historical memory of Anibal Pinto Square and the Temuco Train Station between 1920-1940, through stories and virtual digitization. University of Groningen, 2020-2024.

Teun Joshua Brandt, Symbiotic Narratives. Contested Agencies in Scientific and Literary Narratives on Human Holobionts. University of Groningen, 2022-2026.

Last modified:02 January 2023 11.45 a.m.