Social Representations of the Past in Post-conflict Societies: Adherence to Official Historical Narratives and Distrust Through Heightened Threats

Charis Psaltis*, Renata Franc, Anouk Smeekes, Maria Ioannou, Iris Zeželj

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
139 Downloads (Pure)


One of the main obstacles to the cultivation of historical thinking, in post-conflict societies, is adherence to the official master narratives of conflict. We argue based on empirical evidence from three post-conflict settings (Cyprus , Serbia and Croatia ) that such representations of the past and their uncritical internalization that leads to adherence to master narratives of conflict constructs a threatened self and generates distrust towards the outgroup. Such a mentality becomes a major obstacle to conflict transformation and to a peaceful settlement of intercommunal conflicts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHistory Education and Conflict Transformation
Subtitle of host publicationSocial Psychological Theories, History Teaching and Reconciliation
EditorsCharis Psaltis, Mario Carretero, Sabina Čehajić-Clancy
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9783319546810
ISBN (Print)9783319546803
Publication statusPublished - 29-Aug-2017

Cite this