In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

CONCLUSION A process that had begun with wholesale incriminations turned in the direction of wholesale exemptions and then ended in wholesale exonerations. Denazification, in the end, meant not purge but rehabilitation, a perversion illustrated by the change in the meaning of the term ‘‘denazified.’’ It was not German society that was being ‘‘denazified’’ in the sense of being freed from Nazis and Nazi influence, but Mr X, who would claim to have been ‘‘successfully denazified’’ in the sense of having been certified as being free from the taint of his previous Nazi connection. —John Herz, From Dictatorship to Democracy1 In their efforts to establish trustworthy administration, many nascent democracies have faced the problem of personnel inherited from anciens régimes. Chile, South Africa, Iraq, and other countries undergoing transition from authoritarian rules have had to deal with personnel who were entrenched in their administrative and security apparatuses, and who remained—or were perceived to have remained—loyal to the previous regime. However, in spite of their potential to affect democratization and reconciliation, political science and transitional justice literature has not considered the resolutions of the personnel problem as being as important as those of constitutional designs, electoral systems, criminal trials, and truth commissions. This book has attempted to draw the attention of researchers to an overlooked topic. It has been inspired by the spread of innovative personnel models, which developed under the banner of lustrations in Central and Eastern Europe in the 1990s and which in several instances were alternatives to one-dimensional policies of dismissals. We have proposed the concept of personnel systems and classified them as exclusive, inclusive, and reconciliatory, which are based on dismissals, PAGE 225 ................. 18039$ CONL 06-09-11 09:17:29 PS 226 Conclusion exposure, and confession, respectively, and which represent the three major clusters of transitional justice: retribution, revelation, and reconciliation. We examined their operation, origin, context, and effects in the context of lustrations in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland. In the conclusion, we shall summarize major findings in light of their theoretical implications and apply our findings to the Iraqi situation to explain the failure of the de-Baathification process. We argue that a reconciliatory model would better serve the interests of divided societies. We then outline the major dilemmas of personnel systems by means of a fictional narrative in Appendix A. Summary of Major Findings We have theorized that personnel systems have a dual nature. They are tangible political acts, which have clear administrative and security objectives . But they also carry expressive dimensions through which they communicate their political, social, and historical meanings to a wider audience. The examination of lustration processes in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland has revealed the dual meanings in their etymology, political background, social contexts, application, and consequences. At the political level, personnel systems symbolize discontinuity with the past: a symbolic end of the oppressive rule and the beginning of the new system. Personnel systems may be considered instances of public rituals that deal with tainted officials in order to purify public life and society. Given the inability of realism to explain the variety of lustration systems (all countries had non-communist majorities but only the Czechs adopted the exclusive system), we have hypothesized that their origin is a function of perceptions about the tainted and by the tainted. First, the stronger the perception of inherited personnel as tainted, the stronger the demand for dismissals and the weaker the demand for an alternative system. Officials associated with the previous regime may be seen as inefficient, corrupt, disloyal, dangerous, and unwilling to uphold human rights, and any of these perceptions may increase demands for their dismissal. This perspective is able to reconcile a number of existing theories that attempt to explain the origin of lustrations: the severity of the previous regime, its ideological rigidity, the role of the former elite during a particular mode of political transition, and its ability to adapt to democratic methods of governance are important factors that shape perceptions at the elite as well as grassroots PAGE 226 ................. 18039$ CONL 06-09-11 09:17:30 PS Conclusion 227 level. In the Czech Republic, the support for dismissals was high owing to the public dissatisfaction with the continuing ideological rigidity of the communist party. The support for dismissal was low in Hungary and Poland owing to the perception of these parties as transforming. Moreover, perceptions may also explain the variation among alternative systems. We have detected that moderate perceptions were widely...


Additional Information

Related ISBN
MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.