Ivor Bolton

The implementation of German heritage policy and the representation of 'inner unity' through memorials and museums

Supervisor: Dr Jonathan Grix and Dr Sara Jones

The research project looks at the relationship between German federal heritage policy and how the German Democratic Republic (GDR) is remembered within united Germany. It examines how heritage policy influences the memorialization of the GDR and the representation of German ‘inner unity’ through the work of the directors and curators of museums and memorial sites. The research enables an understanding of how commemorative politics works in practice, and of the factors that influence how the GDR is remembered. It indicates the form and direction that the memorialization of the GDR is likely to take in the future. An overarching focus of the study is how the management of heritage policy can contribute to German ‘inner unity’.

Contact details
Email: IMB127@bham.ac.uk


Shortly before retiring from a successful career in teaching, Ivor completed an MA in International Studies as preparation for PhD research work in the Institute for German Studies at UoB. Returning to a lifelong interest in the GDR (German Democratic Republic) for the theme and setting of his work, Ivor is researching how the socialist state is represented through different forms of memorialisation. His personal interests now encompass a range of practical international issues – in particular those relating to the representation of continuity and change, transfer, transition and transformation in social order.


  • MA International Studies (Distinction), York St. John University
  • BEd.(Hons), Cert Ed.(Distinction), University of Leeds

Research interests

  • The GDR and post-unification Germany
  • Representation
  • Social order and social control
  • Continuity and change
  • Political and cultural memory studies 

Teaching responsibilities

I have no current teaching commitments in UoB, but have continuing involvement from my teaching career with Initial Teacher Training and with the OFSTED assessment process.

Professional memberships

  • The German Studies Association.
  • International Association for the Study of German Politics.
  • The Political Studies Association.