Publication International / Transnational - War / Peace Remembrance Work in Regions of Crisis and Conflict

On the Deconstruction and Reconstruction of Collective Identities



Policy Papers (en)


Marcus Hawel,


January 2014

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The following thoughts developed out of the question as to which challenges face political educational and cultural activities in regions of crisis and conflict. Generally, in such regions, “identitary master narratives” are dominant. On the one hand, these narratives fulfil the need for a homogeneous, collective identity; and on the other, orient hostile collectives ideologically and arrange public discourses according to one-sided power interests. I will make the point that we must scrutinise the dominant discourses to uncover underlying interests and deconstruct the overarching master narratives; the goal thereby being to establish unified narratives that allow for mutual understanding and ultimately the resolution of conflict.

Dr. Marcus Hawel is a research associate at the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung. The present paper is based on his German text “Politische Bildungsarbeit zu Konfliktzonen”, available as Standpunkte 12/2011.