The paper is a methodological review essay of Michael Bernhard and Jan Kubik’s comparative study of politics of memory and commemoration in seventeen Central and Eastern European states twenty years after the fall of state socialism. The goal of the essay is to critically examine Bernhard and Kubik’s volume, with a particular focus on the comparative methods they applied to explain how some political and cultural factors at the time of the collapse of communism affected a memory regime in the post-communist democracies. This analysis critically examines four aspects of the study, being: the central theoretical assumptions and contribution in comparative and memory politics; case selection; methodology and data analysis; main findings. Each part includes a summary of the particular aspect of the book, the main strengths and weaknesses, and possible improvements. The review essay emphasis is particularly novel and innovative comparative methodology in studying politics of memory and its universality, suggesting, however, severe problems with a lack of clear and consistent discourse analysis methodology which could affect the quality of final results.
Review Essay: Michael Bernhard & Jan Kubik (Eds.), Twenty Years after Communism: The Politics of Memory and Commemoration. New York: Oxford University Press 2014 (pp. 384). ISBN 9780199375134. Price: £79.00.