This book tackles three puzzles of pacted transitions to democracy. First, why do autocrats ever step down from power peacefully if they know that they may be held accountable for their involvement in the ancien regime? Second, when does the opposition indeed refrain from meting out punishment to the former autocrats once the transition is complete? Third, why, in some countries, does transitional justice get adopted when successors of former communists hold parliamentary majorities? Monika Nalepa argues that infiltration of the opposition with collaborators of the authoritarian regime can serve as insurance against transitional justice, making their commitments to amnesty credible. This explanation also accounts for the timing of transitional justice across East Central Europe. Nalepa supports her theory using a combination of elite interviews, archival evidence, and statistical analysis of survey experiments in Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.
Monika Nalepa is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame. She is also Faculty Fellow of Notre Dame's Kellogg Institute for International Studies, Kroc Institute for Peace Studies, and Nanovic Institute for European Studies. In 2006-7 and 2009 she held an appointment as Academy Scholar at the Harvard Academy for International Affairs and Area Studies. Nalepa has guest edited a special volume dedicated to transitional justice in the Journal of Conflict Resolution and has contributed articles to the Journal of Conflict Resolution and the Journal of Theoretical Politics and chapters to numerous edited volumes devoted to transitional justice, including NOMOS, Proceedings of the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy.