1st Edition

Memory Fragmentation from Below and Beyond the State Uses of the Past in Conflict and Post-conflict Settings

    278 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume suggests a model of collective memory that distinguishes between two conceptual logics of memory fragmentation: vertical fragmentation and horizontal fragmentation. It offers a series of case studies of conflict and post-conflict collective memory, shedding light on the ways various actors participate in the production, dissemination, and contestation of memory discourses.

    With attention to the characteristics of both vertical and horizontal memory fragmentation, the book addresses the plurality of diverging, and often conflicting, memory discourses that are produced within the public sphere of a given community. It analyzes the juxtaposition, tensions, and interactions between narratives produced beyond or below the central state, often transcending national boundaries.

    The book is structured according to the type of actors involved in a memory fragmentation process. It explores how states have been trying to produce and impose memory discourses on civil societies, sometimes even against the experiences of their own citizens, and how such efforts as well as backlash from actors below and beyond the state have led to horizontal and vertical memory fragmentation. Furthermore, it considers the attempts by states’ representatives to reassert control of national memory discourses and the subsequent resistances they face. As such, this volume will appeal to sociology and political science scholars interested in memory studies in post-conflict societies.

    Table of contents

      1. Eric Sangar, Valérie Rosoux, Anne Bazin & Emmanuelle Hébert: Introduction: "Memory fragmentation" as a new heuristic tool to grasp the dynamics of political uses of the past in conflict and post-conflict settings

    Part 1 Civil society actors

    2. Stipe Odak: Construction of Victimhood and its Fragmentation within National Frameworks

    3. Johanna Mannergren Selimovic: Gender, Memory and Peace: Struggles between Homogenisation and Fragmentation

    4. Élise Féron: Conflict memories and gender-based violence: from silencing to standardization

    5. Élise Julien: The Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge: a century of memory negotiations in Germany

    6. Thomas Serrier: Pluralism at stake: Rebelling provinces and the national master narrative in the German-Polish memories after the end of the Cold War

    7. Delphine Griveaud & Solveig Hennebert: The PSG Ultras’ annual commemoration of the 13 November 2015 terrorist attacks: a window on collective memory

    Part 2 Historians

    8. Sandra Rios Oyola: The Fragmentation of Historical Memory in Colombia

    9. Emmanuelle Hébert: Transforming Polish-German Past: Toward a common narrative?

    10. Valentin Behr: When historians contribute to the fragmentation of memories: The case of "Polish-Jewish relations" during World War II

    Part 3 Soldiers and military organizations

    11. Mathias Delori: Understanding the fragmentation of the memory of the Allied bombings of World War II: The role of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey

    12. Christophe Wasinski: Present wars as catalysts of fragmented memories of past wars: the use of the Algerian War in the context of the French deployment in Afghanistan

    13. Eric Sangar: "Hurra, wir können’s noch!": How NATO’s counterinsurgency doctrine uncovered German civil-military memory fragmentation

    14. Antoine Younsi: "Paying a blood debt" or "Liberating Africa"? The postcolonial fragmentation of French military and political memory frames during the Operation Serval in Mali (2013-2014)

    Part 4 Transnational organizations

    15. Valérie Rosoux: Can NGOs do away with the ‘tyranny of the past’? Strategies against memory fragmentation in Rwanda

    16. Thomas Richard: ANNA News as a transnational memory entrepreneur? Uses of the Past in the Coverage of the Syrian Civil War by Russian-language media

    17. Anne Bazin, Emmanuelle Hébert, Valérie Rosoux & Eric Sangar: Conclusion: overall findings and implications for the heuristic and normative value of "memory fragmentation"


    Eric Sangar is Assistant Professor in Political Science at Sciences Po Lille, University of Lille, France, as well as Fellow at the Marc Bloch Centre, Berlin, Germany.

    Valérie Rosoux is Research Director at the FNRS and Professor in Political Science at UCLouvain, Belgium, as well as Fellow at the Max Planck Institutes Luxembourg and Halle, Luxembourg and Germany.

    Anne Bazin is Assistant Professor in Political Science at Sciences Po Lille, University of Lille, France.

    Emmanuelle Hébert External Scientific Fellow at the Institut de Sciences Politiques Louvain Europe (ISPOLE) at UCLouvain, Belgium.