Transitional Justice and the Former Soviet Union

The Research Institute of the University of Bucharest – Social Science Division invites you to a debate regarding the book Transitional Justice and the Former Soviet Union: Reviewing the Past, Looking toward the Future (Cambridge University Press, 2018), co-edited by Cynthia M. Horne, Professor at Western Washington University, and Lavinia Stan, Professor and Chair at St. Francis Xavier University.

The presentation will include the two editors of the volume, as well as Oana-Valentina Suciu, Professor at the University of Bucharest who is a contributor to the volume. The event will take place on the 21st of June 2018, at 4 p.m, Faculty of Sociology and Social Work (Panduri Campus).

Twenty-five years after the Soviet Union was dismantled, this volume examines the adoption and rejection of transitional justice measures among the former Soviet republics, and explores the impact of those reckoning choices on state-building and societal reconciliation efforts. Several themes run through the volume: how the long shadow of the past affects current transitional justice choices; the framing and manipulation of memory politics to further current political goals; and the challenge of reckoning with multiple, overlapping unaddressed atrocities in the past.  The three authors will present some of the main themes from this volume, and directly engage their own chapters on Ukraine, Moldova and Armenia.

This volume is the first of its kind to explore a range of traditional transitional justice choices, such as lustration laws, file access provisions, trials, and truth commissions, as well as policies that bleed into memory politics, such as memorialization efforts, new national holidays, and history textbook revisions in states in the FSU.  It presents the most comprehensive account to date of post-Soviet efforts to address, distort, ignore, or recast the past through the use, manipulation, and obstruction of transitional justice measures and memory politics initiatives.

BIOS

Cynthia M. Horne is a Professor of Political Science at Western Washington University. Her research area of specialty is transitional justice in the postcommunist sphere, with attention to the conditions under which lustration and vetting programs have promoted transition goals of democracy, trust in government, trust in public institutions, and inter-personal trust. She has published extensively on the use of lustration, file-access provisions and public disclosures in the postcommunist transitions in journals such as the International Journal of Transitional Justice, Comparative Political Studies, Problems of Post-Communism, Law & Social Inquiry, and Europe-Asia Studies. She has contributed to the Encyclopedia of Transitional Justice (2012) and Post-Communist Transitional Justice: Lessons from Twenty-Five Years of Experience (2015) on similar topics of trust building and transitional justice. Her book Building Trust and Democracy: Transitional Justice in Post-Communist Countries (2017) explores the impact of transitional justice on democratization and trust building across Central and Eastern Europe.

Lavinia Stan is Chair of the Department of Political Science and Director of the Centre for Post-Communist Studies at St. Francis Xavier University, Canada. A Comparative Politics specialist, she is the author or editor of eleven books, the most recent of them being the Encyclopedia of Transitional Justice and Post-Communist Transitional Justice at 25 (both coedited with Nadya Nedelsky), and Transitional Justice in Post-Communist Romania (Cambridge, 2013, 2013, and 2015, respectively). She has published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals, including European Journal of Political Research and East European Politics and Societies. Stan is a former member of the Scientific Council of the Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes in Romania, editor for Women’s Studies International Forum, member of the Club of Rome and the scientific boards of twenty scholarly journals in Europe and North America, former member of several Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC) adjudicating committees, and current President of the Society for Romanian Studies. Her research has been generously funded by the SSHRCC with multiple research grants. In 2014, she and Lucian Turcescu won a large SSHRCC grant to study religious groups’ collaboration/resistance in communist Romania.

Oana-Valentina Suciu is an Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department at the University of Bucharest. She has worked as a civic activist and senior researcher for various nongovernmental organizations and think-tanks, including the Romanian Academic Society and the Institute for Public Policies. She has also collaborated with the World Bank Institute in Washington DC and with the Centre for Research into PostCommunist Economies in London. Between 2007 and 2013 she was the head of the Domestic Programmes Department of the Romanian Cultural Institute. Her research interests fall within the fields of ethnic minorities’ issues, political representation and the transitions in Central and Eastern Europe. She is the author of numerous articles and book chapters on the above-mentioned topics and also a board member of the Society for Romanian Studies. She is also the recipient of several research and academic development grants from OSI, AFP, USIS, and British Council/Chevening.

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