Join our Email List Berghahn Books Logo

berghahn New York · Oxford

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Instagram
Polarized Pasts: Heritage and Belonging in Times of Political Polarization

View Table of Contents

Volume 8

Explorations in Heritage Studies

Email Newsletters

Sign up for our email newsletters to get customized updates on new Berghahn publications.

Click here to select your preferences

Polarized Pasts

Heritage and Belonging in Times of Political Polarization

Edited by Elisabeth Niklasson

252 pages, 22 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-80073-848-5 $149.00/£110.00 / Hb / Not Yet Published (January 2023)

eISBN 978-1-80073-849-2 eBook Not Yet Published

View Cart Your country: - edit   Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“This volume adds an important and highly original contribution to debates on the contested role of heritage, identities and belonging in European states in the 21st century. Focusing on the instrumental role of the past in polarizing debates about origins, ethnicity, and nationhood, the volume offers a compelling account about the rise of populism and right-wing movements in Europe and their engagement with heritage discourse to meet their political ends.” • Graeme Were, University of Bristol

“This book is a timely contribution to a critical discussion on the political uses of heritage in polarized Western societies. It brings together thoughtfully written case studies in which the meaning-making of heritage is explored through racism, ethnonationalism, identity-building, and exclusive interpretations of the past.” • Tuuli Lähdesmäki, University of Jyväskylä


When questions of belonging enter the forefront of political debates, so too does heritage. From different ends at the political spectrum, people invoke the past to validate their stance on immigration, equality and security. In the wake of European crises and a polarized US political landscape, heritage is invoked to both halt and embrace immigration, as well as to resist and further globalization. Essays demonstrate how ancient monuments and sites, bygone eras and political regimes, even your genetic ancestry, can become wrapped up in polarized political debates. Together, the texts pave the way for a better understanding of the role of the heritage in society.

Elisabeth Niklasson is a lecturer in cultural heritage at the University of Aberdeen. She pursues research on heritage policy and politics, with articles in the Journal of Social Archaeology, and an edited volume titled Appropriate narratives: Archaeologists, Publics and Stories (eds. Niklasson and Meier, 2013, Archaeolingua).

Subject: Heritage Studies Cultural Studies (General)


Back to Top

Library Recommendation Form

Dear Librarian,

I would like to recommend Polarized Pasts Heritage and Belonging in Times of Political Polarization for the library. Please include it in your next purchasing review with my strong recommendation. The RRP is: $149.00

I recommend this title for the following reasons:

BENEFIT FOR THE LIBRARY: This book will be a valuable addition to the library's collection.

REFERENCE: I will refer to this book for my research/teaching work.

STUDENT REFERRAL: I will regularly refer my students to the book to assist their studies.

OWN AFFILIATION: I am an editor/contributor to this book or another book in the Series (where applicable) and/or on the Editorial Board of the Series, of which this volume is part.