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Twenty Years After Communism$
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Michael Bernhard and Jan Kubik

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199375134

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199375134.001.0001

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A Theory of the Politics of Memory

A Theory of the Politics of Memory

(p.7) 1 A Theory of the Politics of Memory
Twenty Years After Communism

Jan Kubik

Michael Bernhard

Oxford University Press

The chapter proposes a novel conceptualization of the politics of memory and commemoration and a theoretical framework designed to explain the emergence of different types of memory regimes. The chapter argues that the interaction of mnemonic actors determines the nature of the resulting memory regime. Four ideal-types of such actors are identified: mnemonic warriors, pluralists, abnegators, and prospectives. A fractured regime emerges when at least one actor is a warrior, a pillarized regime when all actors are abnegators. The different memory regime outcomes around the twentieth anniversary of the fall of communism in Eastern Europe are explained as product of several configurations of factors. These include a range of structural and cultural constraints that actors face, as well as the cultural choices they make.

Keywords:   memory politics, mnemonic actor, memory regime, mnemonic warrior, Eastern Europe

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