Postsocialist Cleansing in Eastern Europe

Katherine Verdery

in Socialism Vanquished, Socialism Challenged

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199895977
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199980116 | DOI:
Postsocialist Cleansing in Eastern Europe

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This chapter addresses forms of transitional justice in Eastern Europe after 1989, particularly those aimed at depriving communist-era officials of political roles in the new polities. It summarizes the measures taken across the region, focusing on lustration, then offers some open-ended thoughts about the process and the way it has been formulated. Seeing Iustration as a broadly available and potentially productive political resource whose use goes well beyond the intended creation of a law-governed state, the chapter suggests ways in which communist-era forms inflect transitional justice. It offers some evidence from the author's own secret police file to raise questions about state-society relations after 1989 from an anthropological viewpoint.

Keywords: transitional justice; lustration; communism; post-communist politics; political transformation; law-governed state; Secret Police; collaboration; Romania; Eastern Europe

Chapter.  9235 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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