Notre Dame scholar to address justice in post-communist Europe

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KALAMAZOO—A University of Notre Dame scholar will visit Western Michigan University next week to address justice in European countries after the fall of communism as part of the 2013 George Klein Lecture.

Dr. Monica Nalepa, Notre Dame professor of political science and a faculty fellow at the Nanovic, Kroc and Kellogg institutes, will speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 19, in Fetzer Center's Putney Auditorium. Her presentation is titled "Skeletons in the Closet: Transitional Justice in Post-Communist Europe" and is free and open to the public.

Born in Warsaw, Poland, Nalepa taught for two years at Rice University after receiving her doctoral degree from Columbia University in 2005. She arrived at Notre Dame in 2008. Her research focuses on transitional justice--ways in which new democracies deal with members and collaborators of the former authoritarian regime. In her work, she examines how democratic institutions, such as parliaments, elections, constitutions and veto players affect transitional justice.

Her publications include "Captured Commitments: An Analytic Narrative of Transitions with Transitional Justice," "Skeletons in the Closet: Transitional Justice in Post-Communist Europe" and "Punish All Perpetrators or Protect the Innocent? Comparing Systems of Transitional Justice."

Among topics in her talk, Nalepa will address why autocrats step down from power peacefully if they know they may be held accountable and when oppositions refrain from punishment.

George Klein Lecture

The 2013 George Klein Lecture is being organized by the Institute of Government and Politics in WMU's Department of Political Science. It is part of an annual lecture series named for a longtime professor of political science at WMU who died in 1982.  Klein was an internationally known expert on Balkan politics and eastern European political systems. The Klein Lecture is supported by an endowment established in 1995 by his wife, Dr. Patricia Klein, WMU professor emerita of general studies.

Contact Dr. Peter Wielhouwer, associate professor of political science and director of the Institute of Government and Politics, at (269) 387-5685 for more information.