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4 The Origin of Lustration Systems You don’t want to hurt genuine talent. It’s enough to scare them. In the end, they will work with us. . . . Every new regime demands betrayal until it consolidates its power, and uses traitors, and then gets rid of them. —István Szabó1 I of course agree—I underline that—that it is absolutely necessary to make the purification of this state, which however must be done in a way that a true agent will be uncovered in an open legal way. —Jan Kavan, Speech to the Federal Assembly2 The purpose of this chapter is to explain the origin of and differences among lustration systems approved in Czechoslovakia in 1991, Hungary in 1994, and Poland in 1997. It addresses the following puzzle: All three countries had overwhelming non-communist majorities in their parliaments after their first democratic elections. But only Czechoslovakia adopted an exclusive system. Why did they each develop a different lustration system? Pursuant to our discussion in Chapter 2, we examine two hypotheses: (1) the variation in the choice of a lustration system is a function of differing perceptions about whether former adversaries have been transformed; and (2) the variation in the choice of a lustration system is a function of the role that people themselves had in the previous regime. We tested these two hypotheses at both the grassroots and macro levels. In our analyses we used data from historical surveys that were conducted in the three countries at the time they had non-communist majorities and from the parliamentary PAGE 93 ................. 18039$ $CH4 06-09-11 09:18:18 PS 94 Chapter 4 debates and other public debates concerning lustrations in the three countries . The Perceptions of the Tainted Scholars have different views about the factors that give rise to transitional justice in general and about the origin of lustration systems in particular. Lustrations are seen as a function of factors including the balance of political power; the severity of the previous regime; the politics of the present; interplay between the beliefs of political leaders, retributive emotions, and different political interests; and various combinations of these factors.3 For instance, Huntington argues that the balance of power during transition affects the choice of a transitional justice strategy: ‘‘Officials of strong authoritarian regimes that voluntarily ended themselves were not prosecuted ; officials of weak authoritarian regimes that collapsed were punished .’’4 The convincing logic of the realistic approach has inspired other scholars in transitional justice. Luc Huyse argues that the conclusions elites reach about transitional justice are functions of the circumstances of each regime’s passage to democracy.5 Similarly, Eric Posner and Adrian Vermeule observe that ‘‘the kind of transition affects the kind of transitional justice that will occur.’’6 However, the development of lustration systems in the three Central European countries under study here is richer than trajectories of political power in transition. In the Central European cases, the realistic approach is unable to fully explain the path stretching from the exit of an authoritarian regime to the choice of a particular system. These paths were trammeled by democratic elections that shifted the balance of political power. After the first democratic elections, the non-communist elite in each country gained a sufficient number of seats to make sweeping personnel changes, which could have included the adoption of exclusive personnel systems. The election results in Central Europe in 1990–91 were similar: approximately the same proportion of voters rejected communism in each of the countries examined here, leaving their successor parties with 13.24 percent support in the Czech Republic (the Czech National Council), 10.89 percent in Hungary (List Votes), and 11.99 percent in Poland (Sejm).7 In spite of the large non-communist majorities, which allowed them to further expand their power and pursue their interests, only Czechoslovakia approved an PAGE 94 ................. 18039$ $CH4 06-09-11 09:18:18 PS Origin 95 exclusive personnel system; Hungary approved an inclusive system and Poland belatedly approved its reconciliatory system in 1997. In other words, the case of Central Europe poses a challenge to the validity of the realistic perspective. In response to the lack of a causal link in Huntington’s study, John Moran explains the origin of different strategies of transitional justice using Hirschman’s psychological theory of exit, voice, and loyalty, which were experienced differently by people under the different regimes.8 According to this theory, individual loyalty exhibits itself in ‘‘voice’’ that verbally attempts...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780812205763
Related ISBN
9780812243314
MARC Record
OCLC
793012603
Pages
328
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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