“Regimes of historicity” in media discourses on wars and interventions: the missing link between collective memory and foreign policy identity?

Eric Sangar

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


In recent years, there has been an increasing scholarship analysing the role of collective memory in international relations. Collective memory is often seen as one of the crucial elements of foreign policy identities, with some of the most prominent case studies being Germany and Israel. However, the theoretical link between collective memory and foreign policy identity remains poorly conceptualized. Most debates focus on the question if collective memory is a strategic tool for the mobilisation, sometimes manipulation of social identities, or rather a constraint resulting in biased collective perceptions. This contribution will present the concept of “regime of historicity” as a potential missing conceptual link. Relying on the writings by European historians François Hartog and Reinhart Kosselleck, the paper argues that foreign policy identities are stabilised through the discursive negotiation and construction of shared perceptions of historical temporality, including the relationship between the past, the present, and the future. Using empirical results of a semi-quantitative media discourse analysis comparing foreign policy discourses in the U.S. and several European states, the paper will demonstrate the relevance of specific “regimes of historicity” to explain the diverging ways in which collective memory references are mobilized in public discourse and crisis decision-making.
Translated title of the contributionLes regimes d'historicités dans les discours médiatiques sur les guerres et interventions : le lien manquant entre la mémoire collective et l'identité de la politique étrangère ?
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2016
Event57th Annual Convention of the International Studies Association - Atlanta, United States
Duration: 16 Mar 201619 Mar 2016


Conference57th Annual Convention of the International Studies Association
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address

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