Peace and the politics of memory

Authors:
Johanna Mannergren
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Annika Björkdahl
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Susanne Buckley-Zistel
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Stefanie Kappler
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Timothy Williams
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This book explores memory politics and its impact on the quality of peace in societies transitioning from a violent past. Situating the book in the literature of critical Peace Research and Memory Studies, the authors introduce the idea that the quality of peace is affected by the extent to which memories are entangled. It advances and employs an original theoretical framework to study mnemonic formations. Mnemonic formations are societally salient topics regarding a particular facet of a conflict-affected society’s memoryscape that bring memory and politics together. We investigate mnemonic formations through the interplay between sites, agency, narratives and events. Acknowledging the entanglement of memory in mnemonic formations, this book renders visible the fluidity of memory-making and the political frictions between competing memories. It provides rich empirical case studies that analyse and compare mnemonic formations in Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Rwanda, South Africa and Cambodia. Through this comparative investigation the book assesses how and why memory politics contributes to the construction of a just peace or the perpetuation of conflict, or nuances in between. This analysis shows that three elements of memory politics play a key role in relation to the quality of peace: inclusivity, pluralism and dignity. Suggesting that memory politics affect the quality of peace, the book concludes that when the mnemonic formation consists of multiple, intersectional entanglements and overlaps, there is more room for just peace.

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