Political memory and symbolic boundaries: Czech presidential speeches after 1989 | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1740-8296
  • E-ISSN: 2040-0918



In general terms, this study is concerned with the use of political memory in the processes of creating, maintaining and transforming symbolic boundaries and the role political memory plays with regard to legitimization of state policies. The aim of the study is to show on both theoretical and empirical levels how the concept of political memory could be fruitfully combined with that of symbolic boundaries. To achieve this, the study draws on analysis of various types of material related to a historical event that in the Czech context bears special relevance – World War I and the establishment of the independent Czechoslovak state after its end. The focal point for analysis was presidential speeches from the period 1990 to 2013, but the analysis also included their media coverage to indicate contextual information. The study identifies basic oppositions present in political memory related to the war events and shows how these oppositions serve as basis for drawing symbolic boundaries, which eventually translate to particular state policies.


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