1st Edition

Victims and Memory After Terrorism

By Ana Milošević Copyright 2024
    164 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book contributes to the study of collective memory and the sociology of terrorism by analysing the role of memorialization in relation to terrorism, its victims, and the broader society. While various social scientists have extensively theorized and analysed how trauma and memory interact, grow apart, and reinforce each other, this book puts the rights and needs of the victims centre-stage.

    Departing from the prescriptive, legal blueprints of memory, this book introduces the concept of ‘memorial needs’ to challenge and complement existing victimological frameworks. It critically assesses the efficacy of public memorialization and its success in assisting those affected by violence by exploring how victims engage with memory and memorialization. It investigates personal and collective responses to urban terrorism in Europe that have taken a wide range of forms including media coverage, spontaneous memorials and public mobilizations, literary and artistic works, trials, and controversial counter-terrorism measures. Making a case against the fetishization of memory as an overarching answer to curing visible and invisible wounds provoked by violence, Victims and Memory After Terrorism sends out a practical invitation to the field to 'repair symbolic reparations' in a way that memorialisation is not just an expression of potential, an aspiration for a more moral and just society and a promise of healing for the victimised.

    An accessible and compelling read, this book will appeal to students and scholars of victimology, criminology, sociology, politics and those interested in the relationship between collective memory and terrorism.

    1.Victims and memory after terrorism  2.Trauma as a trigger: facing the unthinkable  3.The victim tag: victimhood as a virtue and a burden  4.Dealing with the present: media and terror  5.Architecture of terror: museums, memorials and monuments  6.(Un)bound by memory: commemorating the victims  7.The placebo memory  Notes on methodology  Index


    Ana Milosevic is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Institute for Criminology, KU Leuven, Belgium.

    'This visceral book offers an immersive exploration of post-terror memory. Drawing on years of ethnography conducted across various European terror sites, Ana Milošević brings us close to the stories of victims and the contested work of memorialisation. Raw, tender, and thought-provoking, with a goldmine of methodological reflections to top off.'

    Maria Mälksoo, Professor of International Relations, University of Copenhagen

    'Provocative and intellectually stimulating, this important study by an outstanding expert in the field is a must-read for anyone interested in the consequences of terrorism for contemporary societies. It takes the reader on a fascinating but painful journey through Western European landscapes of memory, seen through the eyes of those affected by terrorist violence.'

    Petra TerhoevenProfessor of European Cultural and Contemporary History, University of Göttingen

    'What do memorials to terrorist attacks actually do? Does commemoration heal the trauma of survivors, or are public memorials a 'placebo' which ritually enact healing? In this fascinating new sociology of terrorism commemoration, Ana Milosevic explores the dynamics which have led us to memorialise some terrorist attacks, but not others.'

    Charlotte Heath-KellyProfessor of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick

    'Based on an extensive and fascinating fieldwork, Ana Milosevic’s Placebo memory makes a major contribution to the understanding of the social effects of terrorism, what it means and what it costs to be a victim of it, and what memory politics can do about it. If we were to read only one book about victims of terrorism and memory, it would be this one.'

    Gérôme Truc, Tenured Research Fellow in Sociology, French National Center for Scientific Research 

    'The Placebo Memory is a bold and thought-provoking analysis of the victims' needs after terrorism. It offers timely and important answers on how we can better understand remembrance and symbolic reparations from the victims' perspective.'

    Aleksandra IvankovicDeputy Director (Victim Support Europe) and Operations Manager (EU Center of Expertise for Victims of Terrorism)