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Title: Contemporary trends in war commemoration : the UK and Russia
Author: Danilova, Nataliya
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2012
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Abstract:
In many countries governments, the military and the public are annually engaged in the commemoration of fallen soldiers of the World Wars and of recent conflicts. This study compares changes in the commemoration of fallen soldiers in a democratic and an authoritarian society (the UK and Russia). It considers this process in terms of a social contract between the military and society, and discusses its broader political and societal implications. The research is focused on the period from the late 1980s onwards. This time-frame is chosen to investigate contemporary changes in national styles of commemoration. Throughout the thesis, the analysis uncovers general trends in this process and explores in detail the commemoration of British soldiers who died in the Falklands War (1982), Gulf War (1990- 1991), Iraq (2003-2009) and Afghanistan (2001-present) and the commemoration of Russian soldiers killed in the Soviet Afghan War (1979-1989) and in the First and Second campaigns in Chechnya (1994- 1996, 1999-2009). In both cases, the thesis examines three sites of memory that mediate discourses and practices of the commemoration (i.e. media coverage of military campaigns, new war memorials, and national ceremonies of remembrance). The original contribution of the thesis lies in two areas: the conceptualisation of contemporary commemoration from the perspective of civil-military relations, and a systematic empirical comparison of this process in two countries. The findings of this research reveal a shift across both societies from war- to a service-orientated commemoration which comes into being with the increasing complexity and controversy of modem warfare. Also, the analysis demonstrates that the commemoration of fallen soldiers in both countries serves as an instrument of popularising national values and mobilising public support for the armed forces, and military operations. In Britain, this result is achieved through the discourse of a 'support for heroes' who fought in Afghanistan. In Russia, the public is mobilised through a broad call to be proud of victory in the Second World War and to give unconditional support for the government political course.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.575480  DOI: Not available
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