Departmental Papers (ASC)

Document Type

Book Chapter

Date of this Version

January 2002

Comments

Reprinted from Memory & Power in Post-War Europe: Studies in the Presence of the Past, edited by Jan-Werner Müller(Cambridge University Press, 2002), pages 137-154.

Abstract

If collective or social memory is power, then those engaged in the contest for control will seek to manage its production. One of the most important ways in which public or national memories have been nourished, shaped and limited in the twentieth century has been through broadcasting and, in the period since the late 1950s, more specifically through television. Television is one of the prime means by which to establish what Timothy Snyder in his chapter calls 'sovereignty over memory', and to provide both a national framework for collective memory and to shape individual memories of national events. In this chapter, I want to explore an important episode in the management of memory as an instrument of conflict prevention or resolution, namely the role played, in Bosnia-Hercegovina in the late 1990s, by the US-led NATO Stabilization Force (Sfor) and the Office of the High Representative (OHR). As Ilana R. Bet-EI shows in her chapter, the Bosnian context was one in which, for generations and centuries, memories were articulated, projected and raised as flags of combat. Television gave a whole new force to such articulations.

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Date Posted: 08 February 2008