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From the Destruction of Memory to the Destruction of People: Social Movements and their Impact on Memory, Legitimacy and Mass Violence - A Comparative Study of the West German Student Movement and the Serbian "Anti-Bureaucratic Revolution".
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History, The Hugo Valentin Centre.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits / 45 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Challenges to the legitimacy of established collective memory can prove so inflammatory that mass violence, ethnic cleansing and even genocide have followed in their wake. However, if few doubt that the ethno-nationalist memory wars during the 1980s collapse of Yugoslavia contributed to the real wars and ethnic cleansing witnessed in the 1990s, no previous research has been able to explain why this is so. This paper pinpoints the determinant variable and causal link between attacks on memory and subsequent mass violence (or a lack thereof). It uses a theoretical model that ties together memory, legitimacy and power to compare the cases of West Germany’s 1968 student movement and Serbia’s 1986-1989 anti-bureaucratic revolution before establishing that the level of prior state repression is one factor that determines whether memory challenges will turn violent. The paper recommends further theory building over the permeable boundary that separates state and civil society, particularly in terms of how accessible state functions are to those social movements that seek to challenge and delegitimise memory.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , 62 p.
Keyword [en]
memory, politics of memory, ethics of memory, genocide, west germany, serbia, social movements, civil society
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-324321OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-324321DiVA: diva2:1109608
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Available from: 2017-06-14 Created: 2017-06-14 Last updated: 2017-06-14Bibliographically approved

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fulltext(708 kB)39 downloads
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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