© 2018

The Palgrave Handbook of State-Sponsored History After 1945

  • Berber Bevernage
  • Nico Wouters
  • Introduces ‘state-sponsored history’ as a concept which requires integrated and systematic analysis

  • Provides an overview of ways in which governments and national bodies (or ‘the state’) have been involved in, or ‘used’ history

  • Brings together scholars from several fields of research which are normally separate


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxv
  2. Berber Bevernage, Nico Wouters
    Pages 1-36
  3. Memory Laws and Legislated History

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 37-37
    2. Pierre-Olivier de Broux, Dorothea Staes
      Pages 101-119
    3. Tomas Balkelis, Violeta Davoliūtė
      Pages 121-136
  4. Archives and Libraries

  5. Research Institutes and Policies

  6. Schools, Curricula and Textbooks

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 271-271
    2. Peter Seixas
      Pages 273-288

About this book


This handbook provides the first systematic integrated analysis of the role that states or state actors play in the construction of history and public memory after 1945. The book focuses on many different forms of state-sponsored history, including memory laws, monuments and memorials, state-archives, science policies, history in schools, truth commissions, historical expert commissions, the use of history in courts and tribunals etc. The handbook contributes to the study of history and public memory by combining elements of state-focused research in separate fields of study. By looking at the state’s memorialising capacities the book introduces an analytical perspective that is not often found in classical studies of the state. The handbook has a broad geographical focus and analyses cases from different regions around the world. The volume mainly tackles democratic contexts, although dictatorial regimes are not excluded.   


State Sponsored History Propaganda Postwar History Post-1945 Government History Historian's Free Expression French Memory Laws Post-Communist Lithuania European Court of Human Rights Archives Tadhana Project Institute of National Remembrance in Poland History museums

Editors and affiliations

  • Berber Bevernage
    • 1
  • Nico Wouters
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of HistoryGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  2. 2.CEGESOMA (Belgian State Archives)BrusselsBelgium

About the editors

Berber Bevernage is Assistant Professor of Historical Theory at Ghent University, Belgium. His research focuses on the dissemination, attestation and contestation of historical discourse and historical culture in post-conflict situations. He has published in journals such as History and Theory, Rethinking History, Memory Studies, Social History and History Workshop Journal.

Nico Wouters is Director of the Belgian Centre for War and Society (CegeSoma, State Archives), Guest Professor at Ghent University, Belgium, and Honorary Research Fellow at Kent University, UK. His research interests include the Second World War, (state-sponsored) politics of memory, comparative history and oral history.

Bibliographic information


“The Palgrave Handbook of State-Sponsored History after 1945 offers to the reader a nuanced explanation of the operationality of state-sponsored history, rather than a detailed analysis of the political and social conditions in which these mechanisms are established. Thus, and despite being destined for a specialized audience in fields such as history, memory studies … its descriptive narratives make it approachable and facilitate navigating through the theories and concepts identified throughout the book and understanding the tight links between them.” (Cira Palli-Aspero, International Studies Review, August 28, 2018)