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Juliet Johnson

Professor Juliet Johnson

Department of Political Science

Power of Symbolic Capital: Political Struggles over Monuments and Memorials in the Post-Communist World

In collaboration with McGill geographer Benjamin Forest, I am conducting research on the ways in which post-communist political actors have used the symbolic capital of monuments and memorials to legitimize their claims on power. By manipulating symbolic capital, political leaders attempt to define their state’s boundaries, inclusiveness, and character. Therefore, to explain a state’s political openness, policies, and stability over time, one must understand how and why public memories coalesce in particular material configurations during critical moments in history. We ask three key questions in this regard: First, how and why have patterns of post-communist commemoration varied across space and time? Second, which actors have had the power to control symbolic politics in post-communist public space, and why? Finally, how does the relative openness of the process affect the development of public memory and regime legitimacy?

Professor Johnson's Faculty Page
juliet [dot] johnson [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Contact Professor Johnson)

PLAI courses taught by Professor Johnson