“Transitional justice and democratic consolidation in post-communist Eastern Europe: Romania and Albania,” published on Eastern Journal of European Studies, Volume 12, Issue 1, 2021 by Prof. Ilir KALEMAJ
While there are many studies on the democratization trajectory of former communist countries of Eastern Europe, only a few of them have a particular focus on how transitional justice helps democratic consolidation. The present comparative study seeks to fill that gap by focusing specifically on the cases of Romania and Albania, situating them in the wider kaleidoscope of former Eastern Europe. Some of these countries have had a fast implementation of transitional justice measures and successful democratization. Yet, despite adopting an early mechanism of transitional justice, others did not necessarily have any particular success in their democratic endeavour. On the other hand, additional states have had democratic consolidation despite not undertaking such rapid measures (for example Estonia), while others have failed either to adopt the transitional justice mechanisms or democratizing at all (i.e., Belarus). The present paper offers a theoretical framework that seeks to capture and explain such dynamics and by referring specifically to the telling cases of Romania and Albania, to explain what role and impact transitional justice measures have in democratic transitions.