Itinerant Nationalisms and Fracturing Narratives: Incorporating Regional Dimensions of Memory into Peace-Building

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Abstract

While conflict is often understood across multiple levels, including its regional dimension, peacebuilding and memory work are rarely put in conversation at this level. The article explores regional dimensions of memory and argues that these open a novel and analytically productive lens on the nature and legacy of cross-border conflict and can bolster peacebuilding approaches. Taking the key case study of the Great Lakes Region of Africa, and specifically the regionalizing dimensions of the Rwandan genocide, the article investigates the impact of two very different regional dimensions of memory on social cohesion. First, the article considers the more intuitive ways in which grievances that extend across borders and fractured regional memories continue to fuel conflict. Second, and pushing beyond this, the article considers the ways in which returning diaspora deploys memory born in the wider region in attempts at nation-building. The article thus deploys a dynamic approach to memory, exploring mobile memories and the ways in which regional experiences are carried and deployed back in a national context. Overall, the article urges us to extend regional lens beyond the study of conflict roots and operational action to the study of postconflict peacebuilding and commemoration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalMemory Studies
Early online date1 Oct 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Oct 2018

Cite this

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title = "Itinerant Nationalisms and Fracturing Narratives: Incorporating Regional Dimensions of Memory into Peace-Building",
abstract = "While conflict is often understood across multiple levels, including its regional dimension, peacebuilding and memory work are rarely put in conversation at this level. The article explores regional dimensions of memory and argues that these open a novel and analytically productive lens on the nature and legacy of cross-border conflict and can bolster peacebuilding approaches. Taking the key case study of the Great Lakes Region of Africa, and specifically the regionalizing dimensions of the Rwandan genocide, the article investigates the impact of two very different regional dimensions of memory on social cohesion. First, the article considers the more intuitive ways in which grievances that extend across borders and fractured regional memories continue to fuel conflict. Second, and pushing beyond this, the article considers the ways in which returning diaspora deploys memory born in the wider region in attempts at nation-building. The article thus deploys a dynamic approach to memory, exploring mobile memories and the ways in which regional experiences are carried and deployed back in a national context. Overall, the article urges us to extend regional lens beyond the study of conflict roots and operational action to the study of postconflict peacebuilding and commemoration.",
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AB - While conflict is often understood across multiple levels, including its regional dimension, peacebuilding and memory work are rarely put in conversation at this level. The article explores regional dimensions of memory and argues that these open a novel and analytically productive lens on the nature and legacy of cross-border conflict and can bolster peacebuilding approaches. Taking the key case study of the Great Lakes Region of Africa, and specifically the regionalizing dimensions of the Rwandan genocide, the article investigates the impact of two very different regional dimensions of memory on social cohesion. First, the article considers the more intuitive ways in which grievances that extend across borders and fractured regional memories continue to fuel conflict. Second, and pushing beyond this, the article considers the ways in which returning diaspora deploys memory born in the wider region in attempts at nation-building. The article thus deploys a dynamic approach to memory, exploring mobile memories and the ways in which regional experiences are carried and deployed back in a national context. Overall, the article urges us to extend regional lens beyond the study of conflict roots and operational action to the study of postconflict peacebuilding and commemoration.

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