Symbolism and Politics is a timely intervention into ongoing debates around the function of political symbols in a historical period characterized by volatile electoral behaviour, fragmented societies in search of collective identifications, and increasingly polarized political models.

Symbols are central features of organized human life, helping to define perception, shaping the way we view the world and understand what goes on within it. But, despite this key role in shaping understanding, there is never a single interpretation of a symbol that everyone within the community will accept, and the way in which symbols can mobilize antagonistic political factions demonstrates that they are as much a central element in power struggles as they are avenues to facilitate processes of identification. This dual potential is the object of discussion in the chapters of this book, which sheds new light on our understanding of the political function of symbols in a historical period.

Symbolism and Politics will be of great interest to scholars working on Political Symbols, Nationalism, Regime Change and Political Transitions. The chapters originally published as a special issue of Politics, Religion & Ideology.

chapter |5 pages

Introduction: Symbolism and Politics

ByGraeme Gill, Luis F. Angosto-Ferrandez

chapter |23 pages

Mausoleums, National Flags and Regime Crises: Comparing Spain and Venezuela

ByLuis F. Angosto-Ferrandez

chapter |15 pages

Political Symbols and Regime Change: The Russian Experience

ByGraeme Gill