By Jon Elster
An research of transitional justice - retribution and reparation after a metamorphosis of political regime - from Athens within the 5th Century B.C. to the current. half I, 'The Universe of Transitional Justice', describes greater than thirty transitions, a few of them in massive element, others extra succinctly. half II, 'The Analytics of Transitional Justice', proposes a framework for explaining the differences one of the circumstances - why after a few transitions wrongdoers from the former regime are punished critically and in different instances mildly or by no means, and sufferers occasionally compensated generously and occasionally poorly or in no way. After surveying a huge variety of justifications and excuses for wrongdoings and standards for choosing and indemnifying sufferers, the booklet concludes with a dialogue of 3 common explanatory elements: fiscal and political constraints, the retributive feelings, and the play of celebration politics.
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Extra resources for Closing the Books: Transitional Justice in Historical Perspective
There were two kinds of confiscated property, “biens de premi`ere origine” confiscated from the Church and “biens de seconde origine” confiscated from individuals. 61 The total number of individuals who were ultimately indemnified was about 25,000. The gap between the numbers has several explanations. Many had not been dispossessed because they possessed nothing or had sold off their property before leaving the country. Others had lost movable property or annuities, which were not indemnified. Some had been able to recover their properties, and some were dead without leaving heirs.
In the abstract, the salient issues were the following. (i) Should reparative measures be limited to individuals or also include the corporate property of the Church? (ii) Should the measures be limited to landed property or be extended to movable property, annuities, and so on? (iii) Should they be limited to confiscated properties, or be extended to destroyed (real) or devalued (personal) properties? (iv) Should goods that had been confiscated but not sold off be returned to the former owners?
If you think it your duty to destroy the men whom they passed over, not one of the citizens will be left to us (18). The second is an objection to indiscriminate persecution of indiscriminate persecutors: If the Thirty had kept their punishments for [those who had committed crimes under the previous democracy], you would have held them yourselves to be honest men: but when in fact you found them deliberately oppressing the people because of the offences of those persons, you were indignant; for you considered it monstrous that the crimes of the few should be spread over the whole city.
Closing the Books: Transitional Justice in Historical Perspective by Jon Elster