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Accountability by Numbers: A New Global Transitional Justice Dataset (1946–2016)

  • Genevieve Bates, Ipek Cinar and Monika Nalepa

Abstract

In an era of democratic backsliding, scholars and policymakers wonder if failure to reckon with former authoritarian elites and their collaborators plays a role. Yet without adequate data on the way former autocracies and countries emerging from conflict deal with human rights violators, it is hard to tell if new democracies are unstable because of their failure to reckon with their former authoritarian elites or despite it. We introduce a dataset of personnel transitional justice events that allows scholars to answer such questions, disaggregating these events temporally from the date of a country’s democratization. The time series nature of our data allows scholars to measure key characteristics of states’ dealing with their past and complements existing transitional justice datasets by focusing not only on post-conflict societies and not only on post-authoritarian societies, but on both. To showcase the possibilities our data affords scholars, we use it to develop three novel measures of personnel transitional justice: severity, urgency, and volatility. The granular structure of our data allows researchers to construct additional measures depending on their theoretical questions of interest. We illustrate the use of severity of transitional justice in a regression that also employs data from the Varieties of Democracy project.

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Copyright

Footnotes

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A list of permanent links to Supplemental Materials provided by the authors precedes the References section.

*

Data replication sets are available in Harvard Dataverse at: https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/1HCPSG

Footnotes

References

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