The Politics of Memory and Democratization

Paperback | April 15, 2001

EditorAlexandra Barahona De Brito, Carmen Gonzalez Enriquez, Paloma Aguilar

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One of the most important political and ethical questions faced during a political transition from authoritarian or totalitarian to democratic rule is how to deal with legacies of repression. Indeed, some of the most fundamental questions regarding law, morality and politics are raised at suchtimes, as societies look back to understand how they lost their moral and political compass, failing to contain violence and promote the values of tolerance and peace. The Politics of Memory sheds light on this important aspect of transitional politics, assessing how Portugal, Spain, the countriesof Central and Eastern Europe and Germany after reunification, Russia, the Southern Cone of Latin America and Central America, as well as South Africa, have confronted legacies of repression. The book examines the presence - or absence - of three types of official efforts to come to terms with thepast: truth commissions, trials and amnesties, and purges. In addition, it looks at unofficial initiatives emerging from within society, usually involving human rights organisations (HROs), churches or political parties. Where relevant, it also examines the 'politics of memory,' whereby societiesre-work the past in an effort to come to terms with it, both during the transitions and long after official transitional policies have been implemented or forgotten. The book also assesses the significance of forms of reckoning with the past for a process of democratization or democratic deepening.It also focuses on the role of international actors in such processes, as external players are becoming increasingly influential in shaping national policy where human rights are concerned.

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One of the most important political and ethical questions faced during a political transition from authoritarian or totalitarian to democratic rule is how to deal with legacies of repression. Indeed, some of the most fundamental questions regarding law, morality and politics are raised at suchtimes, as societies look back to understand...

Alexandra Barahona De Brito is at Princeton University. Carmen Gonzalez Enriquez is at Universidad Nacional de Educacion a Distancia (UNED).

other books by Alexandra Barahona De Brito

Human Rights and Democratization in Latin America: Uruguay and Chile
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Hardcover|Jan 1 1997

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:440 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.91 inPublished:April 15, 2001Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199240906

ISBN - 13:9780199240906

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Naomi Roht-Arriaza: The Role of International Actors in National Accountability Processes2. Antonio Costa Pinto: Settling Accounts with the past in a Troubled Transition to Democracy: The Portuguese Case3. Paloma Aguilar: Justice, Politics, and Memory in the Spanish Tradition4. Alexandra Barahona de Brito: Truth, Justice, memory, and Democratization in the Southern Cone5. Rachel Sieder: War, peace, and Memory plitics in Central America6. Richard A. Wilson: Justice and Legitimacy in the South African Transition7. Carmen Gonzalez Enriquez: Decommunization and Politial Justice in Central and Eastern Europe8. Jan-Werner Muller: East Germany: Incorporation, Tainted Truth, and the Double Vision9. Naci Adler: In Search of Identity: The Collapse of the Soviet Union and the Recreation of Russia10. Conclusion