The article traces the emergence of the novel phenomenon known as “moral remembrance” (MR). MR refers to the standardized set of norms, promoted through the human rights infrastructures of world polity, in which societies are supposed to deal with the legacies of mass human rights abuses. This vision has adopted, over the past forty years, the three main principles of “facing the past,” “a duty to remember,” and having a “victim-centered approach.” Following the emergence of MR, I demonstrate what happens when the human rights–sponsored MR clashes with the nation-state-sponsored memorialization agenda and why decoupling from the “victim-centered approach” results, more often than not, in hierarchies of victimhood and, consequently, the production of new societal inequalities. I suggest here that the relationship between MR and the nationalist use of memorialization processes needs to be understood from the perspective of economic corruption, the politics of opportunism, and competing authorities.

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