Heroes Once Again: Varieties of Danish ‘Activism’ in Conflated Commemorations of The War in Afghanistan and the Prusso-Danish War of 1864

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Abstract

This article addresses a peculiar historical moment in contemporary Denmark, a nation coming to grips with its increased involvement in the ‘coalition’ wars of recent decades, especially in Afghanistan. It explores how and why, in a Scandinavian society previously conceived as a bastion of tolerance, humanitarianism and pacifism, a new preoccupation with and support for war participation–often referred to as Danish ‘activism’–seems to be on the rise. I analyse public commemoration settings, focusing especially on events connected to the 150th anniversary of the War of 1864 in which Denmark was defeated by Prussia and Austria. This major anniversary in 2014 coincided with the withdrawal of Danish combat troops from Afghanistan. Utilising theories of time and temporality, I explore how the two conflicts–both ‘remote’ from the Danish public; one in time, the other in space–came symbiotically to inform the interpretations of each other.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftEthnos
Vol/bind84
Nummer1
Sider (fra-til)160-178
Antal sider19
ISSN0014-1844
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2019

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