Last talk in 2021 Thursday, Dec 16 2021 

To say I’ve done a lot of things this year is an understatement. I’ve delivered 27 talks – some at various conferences, others as lectures at different university programs and departments, still others as course interventions for various friends. The last talk this year was delivered online at the University of Suceava. Thank you to Professors Marius Cucu and Aurelian Craiutu for organizing this talk.

Marele Alb Thursday, Dec 16 2021 

As others, I watched “Marele Alb” with some fascination, astonishment and trepidation. It is a good movie documenting a daring “operation” that allowed an investigative journalist to enter the inner circle rigging tenders for the Romanian Orthodox Church. The journalist took a great risk, and I commend him for unveiling the ties that bind church administrators, national and local politicians, as well as construction company managers. But this is just a small piece of the puzzle, the Church and its people have myriad other ways to collect money.I wrote a short piece for the Society for Romanian Studies Newsletter, and I thank Lea and Roland for putting me to work.

The video is available here:

My text is available here:

Nations in Transit 2022 report Thursday, Dec 16 2021 

Some years I am reviewing the Nations in Transition report on Romania. I am always impressed by the quality of the summary and the careful selection of facts. This report was better than others – for the first time I had no suggestion for improvement and no event to add. Congratulations to the authors! Sad to see that Romania continues to be classified as semi-consolidated democracy, even losing some points in some areas.

EJPR report on Romania published Thursday, Dec 16 2021 

The report on Romania was published in European Journal of Political Research – Political Data Yearbook, at: Co-authored with Razvan Zaharia, the report details elections, cabinet and parliament structures, referenda, and major political issues. We have written this report each year since 2007, I think.

The End(s) of Communism conference Thursday, Dec 16 2021 

Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation organizes a conference on “The End(s) of Communism: Paths to Decommunization in the Former Eastern Block” in Washington, DC. The program is available here:…Speakers include Mark Kramer, Aleks Szczerbiak, Irena Lasota. I’m one of the few participating online.

ICUB presentation Thursday, Dec 16 2021 

Sometimes audiences are much smaller than anticipated, but one hopes future events will be organized to correct that oversight. Thank you to ICUB for hosting me in October and November 2021 as one of their foreign fellows. While the high covid infection rates prevented me from meeting too many people, I did have a very good time in Europe and managed to do quite a lot.

The talk is available here:

European Remembrance Symposium Thursday, Dec 16 2021 

The conference in Tallinn, Estonia, was postponed for several times before finally taking place in mixed format on October 28, 2021. I was in Bucharest, and could not participate in person. But I was happy to be part of those discussions:

Transitional Justice in Scandinavia Thursday, Dec 16 2021 

Wonderful conversation with Marlin Arvidsson on the many transitional justice initiatives in Scandinavia, all of which will be included as separate entries in the third edition of the Encyclopedia of Transitional Justice. Marlin drew my attention to this issue of the Scandinavian Journal of History: — — which should be of interest to all those interested in these understudied cases.

Universita di Napoli Thursday, Dec 16 2021 

It is rare to feel so at home in a city I’ve never visited before. But I felt right at home in Napoli. The university is remarkable, lively, vibrant, full of life. Napoli is a lived city – with all the good and the bad that entails. I will definitely visit again, since this university impressed me so much. Thank you to Professors Mauricio Griffo and Aurelian Craiutu for arranging this visit.

Muzeul Ororilor Comunismului exhibit in Bucharest Thursday, Dec 16 2021 

A new museum without actual headquarters was just approved by the Romanian government. Enormous efforts to take it off ground. One initiative was an exhibition of photographs taken in various locations in Bucharest during communist times by architect Andrei Pandele. Powerful photographs, which reminded me of the harsh reality of communism. Thank you to Ruxandra Canache and Irina Hasnas-Hubbard for the invitation. I was extremely pleased to meet Andrei Ursu, whom I always respected for his enormous dedication to transitional justice.

This is one of the photographs taken by A. Pandele. For me, it shows the broken ties of ordinary Romanians who each lived in his or her own bubble, afraid of striking minimal conversation because of the widespread secret surveillance engulfing the country during the times of Nicolae Ceausescu.
Speaking after Mr. Pandele, trying to connect his photos to memorialization and transitional justice

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