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International reconciliation on the Internet? Ontological security, attribution and the construction of war memory narratives in Wikipedia
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic History and International Relations. Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9897-9891
2019 (English)In: International Relations, ISSN 0047-1178, E-ISSN 1741-2862Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

This article explores the Internet’s often touted potential for facilitating reconciliation. It conceptualises Wikipedia as a site for collective memory construction and analyses the Chinese- and Japanese-language entries on the bilaterally contentious Second Sino-Japanese War. It addresses the question of how to make sense of the construction of these online collective memory narratives theoretically. Both historical determinism and instrumentalism – two influential theoretical approaches to collective memory and reconciliation – have great difficulties in fully accounting for this case. Instead, it is argued that ontological security theory is better equipped for understanding collective memory construction in Wikipedia. It is suggested that ontological security seeking can impede efforts for reconciliation even when, as in Wikipedia, there exist norms seeking to promote more neutral narratives. It is argued that a subtle bias in favour of the in-group and against the out-group functions as a mechanism for ontological security management that protects a positive self-identity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
attribution theory, collective memory, Internet, narrative, ontological security, reconciliation
National Category
Other Social Sciences Economics and Business
Research subject
International Relations
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-173860DOI: 10.1177/0047117819864410ISI: 000478187800001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-173860DiVA, id: diva2:1356420
Funder
Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation, 2016.0036Available from: 2019-10-01 Created: 2019-10-01 Last updated: 2019-11-19

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