Identity, memory and cosmopolitanism: The otherness of the past and a right to memory?

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Implicated within the relationship between memory and identities at the local, national and international levels is the question of whether there is ‘right to memory’: the human right to have the otherness of the past acknowledged through the creation of symbolic and cultural acts, utterances and expressions. This article outlines the rationale for a right to memory and why the debate is of importance to memory and cultural studies. It outlines some of the relationships understood between memory and identity within memory studies, suggesting that a right to memory requires an understanding of the complex dynamics of memory and identities not only within, but internationally across, borders. It extends the concept of political cosmopolitanism to use as an analytical framework to enable an analysis of current international protocols, showing how they formulate the discursive relationship between identity and memory in four ways that involve a number of contradictions and unresolved tensions
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-394
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Journal of Cultural Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


  • cosmpolitanism
  • cultural memory
  • globital memory field
  • Identity (Philosophical concept)
  • international law
  • memory
  • memory rights


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