A right to memory and communication policy: Safeguarding the capability of remembrance

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1 Scopus citations


Can a right to memory be counted among the rights society needs to safeguard, if so, what are its theoretical and conceptual foundations, and how do they relate to communications? We answer these questions by offering a new perspective regarding the right’s components, origin and justifications, the mechanisms needed to realize it and the legal framework required for such realization. We begin by first recognizing the fundamental role of memory in human life, in particular as it pertains to the creation, preservation, and endowment of identity, which justifies the need to protect it. We then discuss memory’s four elements—remembering, forgetting, being remembered, and being forgotten—and their dependence on communications. We follow by describing the nature of rights and the distinction between different types of rights. This helps us claim that recognizing the right to memory requires ensuring the capability to communicate by designing appropriate communication policies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-506
Number of pages10
JournalCommunication Theory
Issue number4
StatePublished - 21 Jul 2022


  • capabilities
  • communication policy
  • media
  • memory
  • right to memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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