Elisabetta Viggiani

Talking Stones

The Politics of Memorialization in Post-Conflict Northern Ireland

Berghahn Books 2016

Books ReceivedBooks Received: British StudiesBooks Received: European StudiesBooks Received: Global EthicsBooks Received: Military HistoryBooks Received: Politics October 19, 2016

If memory was simply about past events, public authorities would never put their ever-shrinking budgets at its service. Rather, memory is actually about the...

If memory was simply about past events, public authorities would never put their ever-shrinking budgets at its service. Rather, memory is actually about the present moment, as Pierre Nora puts it: “Through the past, we venerate above all ourselves.” This book examines how collective memory and material culture are used to support present political and ideological needs in contemporary society. Using the memorialization of the Troubles in contemporary Northern Ireland as a case study, this book investigates how non-state, often proscribed, organizations have filled a societal vacuum in the creation of public memorials. In particular, these groups have sifted through the past to propose “official” collective narratives of national identification, historical legitimation, and moral justifications for violence.

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