Contention, consensus, and memories of communism: Comparing Czech and Slovak memory politics in public spaces, 1993–2012

  • Sara Jean Tomczuk
  • International Journal of Comparative Sociology, June 2016, SAGE Publications
  • DOI: 10.1177/0020715216658187

Memorials Paper

What is it about?

Public memorials provide spaces where official actors put forth a version of the past. When that past is 'difficult' like the memory of communism in central Europe, unofficial actors sometimes reinterpret or challenge that version. In the Czech Republic, an individualistic frame allows for more interpretations from unofficial actors, while in Slovakia a focus on nationalism and religion inspires less contention over political memory.

Why is it important?

Findings illuminate that when official memory actors privilege an individualistic frame, unofficial actors are more likely to challenge those representations of the past, creating contention in memory politics. Contention has consequences for the quality of civic discourse and democratic culture.

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The following have contributed to this page: Sara J Tomczuk