Democratization and Memories of Violence

Mneesha Gellman

Routledge Global Cooperation Series
226 pages | 2016 - Routledge Hardback: ISBN 978-1-138-95303-1

Ethnic minority communities make claims for cultural rights from states in different ways depending on how governments include them in policies and practices of accommodation or assimilation. However, institutional explanations don't tell the whole story, as individuals and communities also protest, using emotionally compelling narratives about past wrongs to justify their claims for new rights protections.

Democratization and Memories of Violence: Ethnic minority rights movements in Mexico, Turkey, and El Salvador examines how ethnic minority communities use memories of state and paramilitary violence to shame states into cooperating with minority cultural agendas such as the right to mother tongue education. Shaming and claiming is a social movement tactic that binds historic violence to contemporary citizenship. Combining theory with empirics, the book accounts for how democratization shapes citizen experiences of interest representation and how memorialization processes challenge state regimes of forgetting at local, state, and international levels. Democratization and Memories of Violence draws on six case studies in Mexico, Turkey, and El Salvador to show how memory-based narratives serve as emotionally salient leverage for marginalized communities to facilitate state consideration of minority rights agendas.

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