Research Handbook on Transitional Justice
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Research Handbook on Transitional Justice

Edited by Cheryl Lawther, Luke Moffett and Dov Jacobs

Providing detailed and comprehensive coverage of the transitional justice field, this Research Handbook brings together leading scholars and practitioners to explore how societies deal with mass atrocities after periods of dictatorship or conflict. Situating the development of transitional justice in its historical context, social and political context, it analyses the legal instruments that have emerged.
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Chapter 25: Transitional justice in Central and Eastern Europe

Lavinia Stan


Since 1989 Central and Eastern European countries have implemented a wide range of programs designed to help those societies reckon with the numerous human rights abuses perpetrated by the communist regimes after the end of the Second World War. Some of these programs (lustration and access to secret files) had never been enacted in other regions of the world. This chapter presents an overview of transitional justice mechanisms launched in the region by state and non-state actors, as well as two of the most important theoretical insights gained from studying the coming-to-terms experience of Central and Eastern Europe. These theoretical insights relate to the factors that explain why some countries engage in transitional justice and others do not, as well as the impact of reckoning programs on post-communist democratization. Eastern Europe; court trials; secret files; lustration; history commissions

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