Within months the volume on Post-Communist Transitional Justice: Lessons from 25 Years of Experience I edited with Nadya Nedelsky for Cambridge University Press will be out.

The year 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Eastern European communist regimes, after which Eastern Europe attempted to reckon with the many crimes committed between 1945 and 1989. The region experimented with court trials of former communist decision makers and secret agents, lustration (the banning or public identification of communist leaders and secret agents occupying post-communist public offices), access for ordinary citizens to the extensive secret documents compiled on them by the secret political police forces, history commissions, official apologies and condemnations, restitution of abusively confiscated property, rewriting history textbooks, rehabilitation of former political prisoners, compensation packages, as well as extensive memorialization projects. Most of these programs have been formulated, funded and completed by domestic state and non-state actors, while a handful were supported by international actors.  We now have a generation’s worth of experience with these wrenching processes. This period spans the tumult of the revolutions to the consolidation of new regimes with now-adult citizens who don’t remember communism. Our volume’s 14 chapters gather, from this remarkable period, key lessons for both theory and practice. Its purpose is not to present comprehensive summaries of each country’s accomplishments and failures in redressing communist human rights violations – these are already available as peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. Instead, the proposed volume focuses on the most important factors that have shaped transitional justice in the region’s first 25 years after communism.  The volume is divided into four parts, each dedicated to a different overarching, but interrelated, theme. Part 1 explores the causes of transitional justice, Part 2, its effects, Part 3, key challenges, and Part 4, neglected actors and factors in coming to terms with the past. This division of focus allows for targeted engagement with key theoretical debates in the broader context of now long-term regional transition.

The volume, whose foreword was written by Constantin Goschler from Ruhr-Universität Bochum, includes the following contributions:

Introduction – Nadya Nedelsky and Lavinia Stan

Part I. Determinants of Transitional Justice

Transitional Justice and Political Goods– Brian Grodsky

Transitional Justice as Negotiated Justice – Chris K. Lamont

Transitional Justice as Electoral Politics – Robert Austin

Explaining Late Lustration Programs – Aleks Szczerbiak

Part II. The Impact of Transitional Justice

The Adoption and Impact of Transitional Justice – Moira Lynch and Bridget Marchesi

Lustration and Its Social and Political Impact – Roman David

Part III. Key Challenges

Time and Transitional Justice Benefits – Cynthia M. Horne

The Challenge of Competing Pasts – Monica Ciobanu

Diffuse Diffusion and Passive Leverage – Helga A. Welsh

The Mythologizing of Communist Violence – Jelena Subotic

Part IV. History, Justice and Public Memory

Historical commissions and the politics of history – Andrew Beattie

Public Memory, Commemoration and Transitional Justice – Duncan Light

Theater and Transitional Justice – Olivera Simic

Unofficial Disclosure Campaigns – Lavinia Stan

Conclusion – Nadya Nedelsky