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Closing the Books : Transitional Justice in Historical Perspective - Jon Elster

Closing the Books

Transitional Justice in Historical Perspective

Paperback Published: 29th December 2004
ISBN: 9780521548540
Number Of Pages: 312

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An analysis of transitional justice - retribution and reparation after a change of political regime - from Athens in the fifth century BC to the present. Part I, 'The Universe of Transitional Justice', describes more than thirty transitions, some of them in considerable detail, others more succinctly. Part II, 'The Analytics of Transitional Justice', proposes a framework for explaining the variations among the cases - why after some transitions wrongdoers from the previous regime are punished severely and in other cases mildly or not at all, and victims sometimes compensated generously and sometimes poorly or not at all. After surveying a broad range of justifications and excuses for wrongdoings and criteria for selecting and indemnifying victims, the book concludes with a discussion of three general explanatory factors: economic and political constraints, the retributive emotions, and the play of party politics.

'... thought-provoking ...'. The Times (Law)
"Closing the Books is a fascinating examination of matters important to both law and political science." The Law and Politics Book Review, Matthew Holden, Jr.
"...an important contribution... provides interesting and valuable analysis... fills an important gap in European policies that deal with the past." Perspectives on Politics
"The book has interesting observations to make about the several dilemnas facing would-be doers of transititional justice...what he has done provides pleny of material for reflection about ethical perplexities, both perennial and very timely." - Harry Clor, Kenyan College

The Universe of Transitional Justice
Athens in 411 and 403 BC
The French restorations in 1814 and 1815
The larger universe of cases
Analytics of Transitional Justice
The structure of transitional justice
Wrongdoers
Victims
Constraints
Emotions
Politics
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521548540
ISBN-10: 0521548543
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 312
Published: 29th December 2004
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.0 x 15.4  x 1.9
Weight (kg): 0.42