Collective Memories and Present-Day Intergroup Relations: Introduction to the Special Thematic Section


  • Ana Figueiredo
  • Borja Martinovic
  • Jonas Rees
  • Laurent Licata


This special thematic section aims to bring together current research on the connections between collective memories – or representations of history – and present-day intergroup relations. Drawing from a multitude of geographical and historical contexts as well as different methodologies, we bring forth ten articles focusing on distinct aspects of the relations between representations of the past and present day intergroup dynamics. The topics covered in these articles focus on one or more of the four research lines identified within this field: 1) the antecedents of collective memories; 2) the contents and structure of collective memories; 3) the official or institutional transmission of collective memories; and 4) distinct socio-psychological correlates of collective memories in present-day societies. Together, the contributions in this special thematic section showcase current directions of research within the field and highlight the need to consider the role of representations of the past for understanding present day instances of intergroup conflict or harmony. We discuss the need for more interdisciplinary work in this field, as well as more applied research in the future.