Troubles of the past? History, identity and collective memory in Northern Ireland

James W. McAuley (Editor), Máire Braniff (Editor), Graham Spencer (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


This book is an edited collection that examines various aspects of the role and nature of collective memory and remembrance of the conflict in Northern Ireland. It sets out to examine diverse constructions, articulations and re-articulations of (often competing) collective memories and their relevance for the process of identity formation, political struggles, ‘culture wars’, the formation of politics and debates on dealing with the past in Northern Ireland today. It also makes a wider contribution to debates on the conceptualisation of social memory, its impact on social change and policy-making in Northern Ireland and other transitional societies. It further considers issues surrounding methodological approaches to the study of collective memory. The book focuses on how, what and why people recall particular events and the impact this has on the present and the future. Memory is active and continually fashioned. How these memories are constructed and reconstructed, interpreted and reinterpreted to become part of now acts as a determinant for what is ahead. Unlike historical analysis memory offers a way to discuss the future and, in turn, how we might live better.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherManchester University Press
Number of pages263
ISBN (Electronic)9781526154217
ISBN (Print)9781526154194
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2023

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