Explaining Lustration in Central Europe: a `post-communist politics? approach

Williams, Kieran, Fowler, Brigid and Szczerbiak, Aleks (2005) Explaining Lustration in Central Europe: a `post-communist politics? approach. Democratization, 12 (1). pp. 22-43. ISSN 1351-0347

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Lustration, the vetting of public officials in Central Europe for links to the communist-era security services, has been pursued most systematically in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. Prior attempts to explain the pursuit or avoidance of lustration focused on the differing experiences of communist rule or transition to democracy. A closer examination finds that although the three countries in question had very different histories, there were identical demands for lustration in the early 1990s. These demands were translated into legislation at different times and varied considerably in the range of offices affected and the sanctions imposed. This article offers an explanation of this variation by focusing on the dynamics of post-communist political competition. We find that the passage of a lustration bill depended on the ability of its most ardent advocates to persuade a heterogeneous plurality of legislators that the safeguarding of democracy required it.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Politics
Depositing User: Aleks Szczerbiak
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:47
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2012 09:38
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/28115
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