This chapter explores two ideologies, communism and nationalism, with reference to two countries Germany and Vietnam. It begins by tracing some of the conceptual difficulties in reconciling communism and nationalism and how these were addressed in practice. By helping to repudiate communism in contemporary Germany and consolidate it in Vietnam, museums make a significant contribution to shaping nation-building in each case. Differing conceptions of the museum's role in socialist and capitalist, contemporary and traditional settings provide the context for a comparative analysis of the German Historical Museum in Berlin and the Vietnamese History Museum in Hanoi. Germany and Vietnam's national history museums help to propagate a nation-building ideology through myths of longue durée and national unity. In performing a legitimating function for soldered states, the museums create a link between ancient artefacts and contemporary communities, which also has wide-ranging implications for collectors and curators.
This introductory chapter discusses the theme of this volume, which is about the connection between the United Nations' (UN) evolving approach to intra-state conflicts and the value system of the international community. This study takes issue with the relatively reductionist explanations of what the UN is and how it relates to peace and security. It explores the interest-norm complexes within which the cases in the Congo, Cyprus, Angola, and Cambodia were handled by the UN. This volume shows how relevant actors' normative preferences were resolved in specific peacekeeping environments where the UN was especially active in addressing intra-state conflicts.