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Transitional Justice in Europe since after regime changes in 1945,1975, and 1990

Lecture | March 16 | 12-1 p.m. | 201 Moses Hall

Anja Mihr, Program Director, HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA Center on Governance through Human Rights

Institute of European Studies

Post-war Germany, post-dictatorial Spain and post-communist and dictatorial Poland and Turkey illustrate how Europe aimed to democratize in over the past decades with or without Transitional Justice measures. This talk is based on a 10 years research endeavor in different European countries and through different time zones and periods in Europe since 1945. It shows the medium- and long-term impact that TJ measures can or cannot have on building stable democratic institutions or in re-establishing autocratic ones. West Germany often stands as an example of a successful transiton to democracy with TJ measures, but East Germany use the same measures and (re)turned to a dictatorship. So did Turkey since 1989 and Spain never had a thorough TJ process and today stands as a democracy. The difference among these cases is the way in which TJ was conducted, in an exclusive and biased, or inclusive and pluralistic way. Only after 20+ years and thus one generation, TJ measures such as trials, reparations, apoligies, security sector reforms, memorials and even vetting and lustration procedures show their anticipated results in these countries. The talk will also highlight the different TJ policies countries in Europe issue today and why and how these policies can contribute to the success or failure of democracy or autocracies., 510-643-0980