Source: (2006) In, Elster, Jon, editor, Retribution and Repatriation in the Transition to Democracy Cambridge University Press, New York, pp.179-180

This chapter concerns transitional justice in post-totalitarian, mostly post-communist, societies. The geographic scope is East Central Europe. The former Soviet Union is excluded because with the exception of the Baltics, no form of transitional justice was attempted there. East Germany is excluded because after German unification its transition became a “democratic takeover” the replacement of the East German totalitarian elite with West German ones. The scope is further limited to negative sanctions against perpetrators. Generally, I adopt and adapt Elster’s (1998) framework for the study of transitional justice, especially his typology of dependent and independent variables. I characterize each of the variables I study generally in all post-totalitarian societies. Then, I discuss individual variations among post-Communist countries. Finally, I examine the results of the political decisions concerning transitional justice in the former Communist bloc. (excerpt)