Post-Transitional Justice? Spain, Poland and Portugal compared
Title: Post-Transitional Justice? Spain, Poland and Portugal compared
Author: RAIMUNDO, Filipa
Series/Report no.: EUI PhD theses; Department of Political and Social Sciences
This dissertation elaborates on a new concept – post-transitional justice – to define the re-emergence of the issues of the authoritarian past onto the political agenda after democratic consolidation. The thesis sets out to understand the reasons why the past is coming back in certain consolidated democracies and not in others. It argues that in order to understand why these issues return to the agenda it is necessary to analyze them in light of the politico-institutional characteristics of each post-authoritarian democracy. The results suggest that ‘political willingness’ and ‘institutional capacity’, as they have been theorized in this research, are two strong factors that help explain the link between the ‘politics of the past’ and the ‘politics of the present’. The analysis of the two positive and one negative case have shown that the past returns to the political agenda because parties aim to change the dominant narrative of the past, but also the narrative of the transition and of the transitional justice process. The absence of post-transitional justice may result from either lack of willingness or capacity, but while the latter may represent a short-term constraint, the former is likely to be more structural and therefore more enduring. Hence, understanding the qualitative dimensions of ‘willingness’ to bring back the past (or the lack thereof) seems to lead to a more solid knowledge about the ongoing impact of authoritarian legacies in consolidated democracies. There are two major conclusions to be drawn from these cases: first, post-transitional justice seems to be more likely to occur when democracy emerges from a negotiated transition instead of a clear break with the past; second, post-transitional justice seems to be more likely to occur when the former elite has been legitimized in the new regime and has had formal access to government.
Defence date: 17 February 2012; Examining Board: Professor Michael Keating, former EUI/ University of Aberdeen (supervisor); Professor Donatella della Porta, European University Institute; Professor José Ramon Montero, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid; Professor András Bozóki, Central European University.; The author was awarded an honourary mention from APCP (the Portuguese Political Science Association) for her PhD thesis.
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