Religion Matters: Quantifying the Impact of Religious Legacies on Post-Communist Transitional Justice

Peter Rozic


While scholars have suggested several explanations to how and why societies deal with an authoritarian past, to date there has been little discussion about religious legacies in postcommunist transitional justice. Building upon emerging qualitative research, this study breaks ground by showing that lustration, a transitional-justice mechanism which limits the political participation of former authoritarian actors, is statistically robustly affected by societies' mainstream religious legacy. Analyzing thirty-four postcommunist states from 1990 to 2012, tobit regression models demonstrate that Catholic and Protestant traditions affect lustration positively, Muslim traditions negatively, while the impact of Orthodox traditions remains statistically insignificant. The findings problematize but support an understanding of religious traditions as potentially corresponding to complicity with the former regime, which in turn affects lustration during postcommunist upheavals.


lustration, religious legacies, essentialism, postcommunism, transitional justice, tobit regression analysis

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