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POLI 331 (1)

Summary of Stephen Holmes.docx

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McGill University
Political Science
POLI 331
Maria Popova

Summary of Stephen Holmes, The End of Decommunization The author argues that decommunization has been gutted in most Eastern European countries (the article was written in 1994). He remarks that former communists have been elected to offices, and people convicted of crimes under the communist regime (most notably Zhikvov in Bulgaria) have been freed. The case for decommunization was as follows: - Forgiveness is better than revenge - There is a need to look towards the future instead of rummaging in the past - Criminal penalties can be replaced by civil punishments The case against decommunization was equally compelling: - Only the victims get to forgive the wrongdoers - Apost-communist society has to remember the past in order to heal - The maintenance of the rule of law requires accountability While there once was a vigorous debate about the desirability of decommunization among these coun
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