Secrets and Truth
Ethnography in the Archive of Romania’s Secret Police
Publication Year: 2014
Published by: Central European University Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
Table of Contents
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List of Figures
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Preface and Acknowledgments
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The end of Soviet-style socialism brought into public awareness a set of archives whose makers had never imagined that they would be revealed: the archives of the communist-era secret police in Eastern Europe. The archives soon entered into the political process...
Note on Pronunciation
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Introduction: What Was the Securitate?
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Following the disestablishment of Communist Party rule in the Soviet bloc, political pressure arose in nearly every East European country to cleanse the polity of legacies of the prior regime. Former Party officials were to be banned from office, as was anyone known...
Chapter 1: An Archive and Its Fictions
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As I noted in the Introduction, after the fall of communism many East European countries created lustration procedures to scrutinize candidates for public office. These procedures, where they were instituted, relied heavily (even if very problematically) on...
Chapter 2: The Secrets of a Secret Police
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“Secrecy,” wrote Elias Canetti, “lies at the very core of power.”1 In this he echoed Max Weber, who connected secrecy to bureaucracy: “Every bureaucracy seeks to increase the superiority of the professionally informed by keeping their knowledge and intentions secret. … Everywhere that the power interests of the...
Chapter 3: Knowledge Practices and the Social Relations of Surveillance
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On April 1, 1974, Securitate officer Iosif Pall in Deva,
Hunedoara county, responded as follows to a communication
from Bucharest that I was collecting military
From the data our organs hold, two hypotheses can be raised: 1) Katherine Verdery is collecting military information, for which reason she travels in...
Conclusion: The Radiant Future?
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These chapters have concerned a form of surveillance that spread from the Soviet Union into the East European states and was undermined by the collapse of that socio-political system known as “actually existing socialism.” We might therefore say that this book is...
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Page Count: 432
Publication Year: 2014