Public contestation and politics of transitional justice: Poland and Albania compared

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Series Details No.02, 2011
Publication Date 2011
ISSN 1725-6755
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This article explores the role of politics and public debates in the pursuit of transitional justice after communism. Our analysis of Albania and Poland enables a variation of both explanatory factors and results. The two cases feature different arrays of political actors who have picked up the issue and made it a part of the political contest, but they have also opted for different models and recorded different degrees of success in dealing with the past. The paired comparison follows a similar structure, proceeding from the actors involved and the unfolding debates, to the analysis of the models adopted, and the process of implementation in each of our cases. The paper finds that political interests have permeated the entire process of ensuring transitional justice but, concentrated public contestation proved important to restrain political strategies and usage of transitional justice at the service of narrow political agendas.

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