In the context of answer set programming, this work investigates symmetry detection and symmetry breaking to eliminate symmetric parts of the search space and, thereby, simplify the solution process. We contribute a reduction of symmetry detection to a graph automorphism problem which allows to extract symmetries of a logic program from the symmetries of the constructed coloured graph. The correctness of our reduction is rigorously proven. We also propose an encoding of symmetry-breaking constraints in terms of permutation cycles and use only generators in this process which implicitly represent symmetries and always with exponential compression. These ideas are formulated as preprocessing and implemented in a completely automated flow that first detects symmetries from a given answer set program, adds symmetry-breaking constraints, and can be applied to any existing answer set solver. We demonstrate computational impact on benchmarks versus direct application of the solver. Furthermore, we explore symmetry breaking for answer set programming in two domains: first, constraint answer set programming as a novel approach to represent and solve constraint satisfaction problems, and second, distributed nonmonotonic multi-context systems. In particular, we formulate a translation-based approach to constraint answer set solving which allows for the application of our symmetry detection and symmetry breaking methods. To compare their performance with a-priori symmetry breaking techniques, we also contribute a decomposition of the global value precedence constraint that enforces domain consistency on the original constraint via the unit-propagation of an answer set solver. We prove correctness and evaluate both options in an empirical analysis. In the context of distributed nonmonotonic multi-context system, we develop an algorithm for distributed symmetry detection and also carry over symmetry-breaking constraints for distributed answer set programming.