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Title of Paper: Political Violence, Ethno-national Commemoration and the Management of Political Constituencies
The paper examines how and why ethno-national political elites use the commemoration and memorialisation of recent conflict to manage their constituencies. Theoretical assumptions about the utility of commemoration in cohering and guiding constituencies is informed by observations taken from several ethno-nationalist settings. Particular attention is given to how elites construct ‘usable’ narratives during periods of political transition from a varied palette of commemorative practices. The paper will argue that this memory work, although linked to narratives of political violence, may not only harden boundaries between rival groups but also enable a more pragmatic adaptation to current political circumstance.