An upcoming book for which I contributed the chapter on Romania is already announced on the Amazon. The volume is Transitional Justice and Civil Society in the Balkans, edited by Oliveira Simic and Zala Volcic, two researchers currently living in Australia. The chapter allowed me to think about the role of civil society groups in furthering the transitional justice process in post-communist Romania. While this is not the first text that dealt with that topic (I’d mention here Raluca Grosescu’s previous work), it is the first to mention non-state groups inimical to efforts to reckon with the communist past.
The volume’s Amazon’s description: “Transitional Justice and Civil Society in the Balkans covers civil society engagements with transitional justice processes in the Balkans. The Balkans, whose physical geography is generally considered to be the former Yugoslavia, as well as Albania, Greece, Romania and Bulgaria, is a region marked by the post-communist and post-conflict transitional turmoil in which its countries are entangled. With contributions coming from localized and international scholars, this volume provide a comprehensive look at the research in transitional justice in this part of the world, Transitional justice is an ever-growing field which responds to dilemmas over how successor regimes should deal with past human rights abuses of their authoritarian predecessors. This volume explores the ways in which civil society—lay citizens who participate in government and non-government organization without seeking monetary compensation—affect and drive the transitional justice process. The editors and author emphasize the relatively unexplored and under-researched role of civil society groups and social movements, such as local women’s groups, the role of art and community media and other grass-roots transitional justice mechanisms and initiatives, in the Balkans’ movement towards making peace with the past. Through specific case-studies, the unique contribution of Transitional Justice and Civil Society in the Balkans is not only that it covers a part of the world that is not adequately represented in the transitional justice field, but also that it is one of the first projects originally researched and written by experts and scholars from the region or in collaboration with international scholars.By taking a more critical look at national strategies, local practices and priorities, and by closely examining international transitional justice agendas, the authors explore the complex and unpredictable justice processes currently underway in the Balkans. They suggest lessons to be learned from those engagements and identify future directions that may be taken in order to bring a sustainable peace to the region. With its effective combination of empirical studies and theoretical grounding, Transitional Justice and Civil Society in the Balkans serves as an excellent resources for scholars of peace studies, the Balkans, historians, peace psychology, transitional justice, political science, civil society, sociologists, criminologists, and anybody interested in the process by which nations and peoples heal themselves.”