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Coming to Terms with a Dark Past

How Post-Conflict Societies Deal with History

Sirkka Ahonen

Finland, South Africa and Bosnia-Herzegovina are each burdened by memories of a civil war, between either social classes, racial groups or ethnic communities. History wars have followed the conflicts and been fought on the arenas of popular rhetoric, public memory, that is, monuments, museums and commemoration rituals, and history education. This book studies how the parties to these conflicts have attributed guilt to «the others» and victimhood to «us» in each country, and compares their respective memory politics and education strategies. The author draws on the potential on «history from below» activities and multiperspectival history lessons.


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ANC African National Congress APLA Azanian People s´ Liberation Army BiH Bosnia-Herzegovina CODESA Convention of the Democratic South Africa COSATU Congress of South African Trade Unions EUROCLIO European Association of History Educators EEC European Economic Community IFP Inkatha Freedom Party ICTY International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia JNA Yugoslav People’s Army MK Umkhonto We Sizwe NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organisation NDH Independent State of Croatia OSCE Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europa PAC Pan Africanist Congress SADF South African Defence Force SFOR Stabilisation Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina SFRY Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia UDF United Democratic Front UNPROFOR United Nations Protection Force

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