Ambushed by Memory: Postconflict Popular Memorialization in Northern Ireland – A Right to Memory

William Rolston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The purpose of this article is to examine the issue of public memorialization from the position of victimized and often marginalized groups who struggle from below for the acknowledgement of their experiences and the right to articulate them publicly. Initially, it critiques the state’s top-down role in the creation and propagation of collective memory and its consequent role in memorialization. It then considers a range of public memorials which are organized on a more bottom-up basis, including counter memorials, stumble stones and shrines. Finally, it considers one case study in depth, the phenomenon of memorial plaques in working-class areas of Belfast in memory of victims of the 30-year-long political conflict.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Transitional Justice
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 23 Jan 2020



  • collective memory
  • victims
  • dignity
  • Northern Ireland

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