Pramod Kantha (Committee Member), Laura Luehrmann (Committee Chair), Kathryn Meyer (Committee Member)
Master of Arts (MA)
Every population maintains collective memories which provide meaning and identity for members (Langenbache, 2003). Elites have exerted influence on what is being remembered and the interpretation of the remembrances for specific objects, through the concept of historical memory. Wang (2012) has shown that authoritarian governments leverage historical memory to increase legitimacy. Similarly, Bernhard and Kubik (2014) have demonstrated that transitioning democracies also benefit from elite use of historical memory for consolidation. The lack of studies concerning consolidated democracies' use of historical memory raises many questions, including whether consolidated democracies manipulate historical memory for the purpose of legitimacy? I contend that, similar to Wang's findings, elites within consolidated democracies manipulate historical memory for the purpose of enhancing party legitimacy and that the concept of historical memory is a tool that continues to be utilized by elites after consolidation. Japan and South Korea constitute the case studies for this examination.
Department or Program
Department of Political Science
Year Degree Awarded
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