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Connected memories: the international politics of partition, from Poland to India

Goettlich, K. ORCID: (2022) Connected memories: the international politics of partition, from Poland to India. International Political Sociology, 16 (4). olac016. ISSN 1749-5679

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1093/ips/olac016


This article theorizes connected memory, or in other words how people remember each other's memories, through the connected histories of territorial partition in different contexts. It claims that social memories can travel beyond their original context, pushing beyond efforts to understand supranational “mnemonic communities,” or to understand cosmopolitan memory as a thin memory community encompassing all humanity. It builds on the idea of “connected histories,” arguing that existing approaches to social memory in world politics either neglect connections across national and regional boundaries or scale up the national model to the global level. The article uses the history of territorial partitions as an illustration of three types of connected memory: sympathetic, vicarious, and modular. Partition has often been studied in comparative or aggregative ways, ruling out the possibility that partitions affect each other. But from the partitions of Poland to the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, to Ireland, Palestine, and India, partitions have often been events remembered beyond the national context and in the plural. Such memories have, in turn, altered the imaginable possibilities of the future, for example, by providing precedents for or warnings about future partitions.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Politics, Economics and International Relations > Politics and International Relations
ID Code:108486
Publisher:Oxford University Press


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