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Description - Closing the Books by Jon Elster

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.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521548540
ISBN-10: 0521548543
Format: Paperback / softback
(229mm x 153mm x 18mm)
Pages: 312
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 6-Sep-2004
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Jon Elster

Professor Jon Elster is the Robert Merton Professor OF Social Science at Columbia University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Paris in 1972. Before coming to Columbia University, he taught at Paris, Oslo and Chicago. His publications include Ulysses and the Sirens (1979), Sour Grapes (1983), Making Sense of Marx (1985), The Cement of Society (1989), Solomonic Judgements (1989), Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences (1989), Local Justice (1992) and Political Psychology (1993). His research interests include the theory of rational choice, the theory of distributive justice and the history of social thought (Marx and Tocqueville).

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