Checking date: 05/06/2023

Course: 2024/2025

Transitional justice and democratization
Dual Bachelor in International Studies and Political Science (2018 Study Plan) (Plan: 411 - Estudio: 320)

Coordinating teacher: DORADO PORRAS, JAVIER

Department assigned to the subject: International Law, Ecclesiastical Law and Philosophy of Law Department, Social Sciences Department

Type: Electives
ECTS Credits: 6.0 ECTS


Requirements (Subjects that are assumed to be known)
- Comparative Politics. - Constitutional Organization of Government. - Public International Law. - Human Rights. - Topics in International Politics.
LEARNING OUTCOMES - Applied knowledge on the elements of the concept of transitional justice, its historical evolution and the international legal norms which each of them has been consecrated and consolidated. - Applied knowledge that permits to identify the various legal, political, institutional and social aspects that interact in any process of transition to democracy. - Applied knowledge for understanding the importance of transitional justice and the satisfaction of the rights of victims of severe human rights violations when conducting any process of transition to democracy. - Applied knowledge for determining the viability and success of the different implemented public policies to meet the principles of transitional justice in a process of democratization.
Skills and learning outcomes
Description of contents: programme
Lesson 1: Basic concepts and terminology for the course. Why do we speak of transitions instead of transformations? The inter-regnum between political regimes. Concepts and definitions of democracy. Lesson 2: Types of dictatorship. State and regime in times of political change. The analytical distinction between State and regime. Lesson 3: Types of transitions. Typologies and the debate on this theme. The connection with the degree of transitional justice achieved. Lesson 4: What can go wrong in a transition to democracy? How can democratic consolidation be achieved? Lesson 5: The principal political science theories: Moore, Dahl, Linz and Stepan, O'Donnell and Schmitter, Przeworski, Huntington, Shapiro. Lesson 6: The evidence offered by recent empirical studies. Factors favorable to democratization and major causal determinants. Lesson 7: The Spanish case in comparative perspective. The Spanish transition from the perspective of comparative political science. Lesson 8: The philosophic and normative debate on transitional justice. Lesson 9: The contents of transitional justice (I). Truth. Lesson 10: The contents of transitional justice (II). Justice. Lesson 11: The contents of transitional justice (III). Reparation. Lesson 12: Legislation and regulations on transitional justice. Lesson 13: Transitional justice, human rights and the consolidation of the rule of law. Lesson 14: Transitional justice and historical memory. The Spanish case and the rights of the victims of Francoism.
Learning activities and methodology
- Lectures. - Seminars. - Elaboration of papers for students. - Final examination. - Weekly tutorials.
Assessment System
  • % end-of-term-examination 40
  • % of continuous assessment (assigments, laboratory, practicals...) 60
Calendar of Continuous assessment
Extraordinary call: regulations
Basic Bibliography
  • Aguilar, P., Brito, A. and González, C.. The Politics of Memory: Transitional justice in Democratizing Societies. Oxford University Press. 2001
  • Almqvist, J. and Expósito, C. (eds.) . The Role of Courts in Transitional justice: Voices from Latin America and Spain. Routledge. 2011
  • Arthur, P. (eda.). Identities in Transition: Challenges for Transitional justice in Divided Societies. Cambridge University Press. 2011
  • Elster, J.. Retribution and Reparation in the Transition to Democracy. Cambridge University Press. 2006
  • Elster, J.. Closing the Books: Transitional Justice in Historical Perspective. Cambridge University Press. 2014
  • Escudero, R.. Road to Impunity: The Absence of Transitional Justice Programs in Spain. Human Rights Quarterly, vol. 36, nº 1, pp. 123-146. 2014
  • Fishman, R.. Rethinking State and Regime: Southern Europe's Tradition to Democracy. World Politics, vol. 42, nº 3, pp. 422-440. 1990
  • Greiff, P. de (ed.). The Handbook of Reparations. Oxford University Press. 2006
  • Linz, J.. The Breakdown of Democratic Regimes: Crisis, Breakdown, and Reequilibration. Johns Hopkins University Press. 1978
  • Linz, J. and Stepan, A.. Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southern Europe, South America, and Post-Communist Europe. Johns Hopkins University Press. 1996
  • O'Donnell, G. and Schmitter, P.. Transitions from Authoritarian Rule: Tentative Conclusions about Uncertain Democracies. Johns Hopkins University Press. 1986
  • O'Donnell, G., Schmitter, P. and Whitehead, L. (eds.). Transitions from Autoritarian Rule: Comparative Perspectives. Johns Hopkins University Press. 1986
  • Payne, L. and Lessa, F. (edas). Amnesty in the Age of Human Rights Accountability. Cambridge University Press. 2012
  • Przeworski, A. (et al.). Democracy and Development: Political Institutions and Well-Being in the World, 1950-1990. Cambridge University Press. 2000
  • Read, J.H. and Shapiro, I.. Transforming Power Relationships: Leadership, Risk, and Hope. American Political Science Review, vol. 108, nº 1, pp. 40-53 . 2014
  • Teitel, R.. Transitional Justice. Oxford University Press. 2000
  • Williams, M., Nagy, R. and Elster, J. (eds.). Transitional Justice. New York University Press. 2012
Recursos electrónicosElectronic Resources *
Additional Bibliography
  • Bermeo, N.. The Revolution within the Revolution: Workers' Control in Rural Portugal. Princeton University Press. 1986
  • Fishman, R. and Lizardo, O.. How Macro-Historical Changes Shapes Cultural Tastes: Legacies of Democratization in Spain and Portugal. American Sociological Review, vol. 78, nº 2, pp. 213-239. 2013
  • Hilbink, L. and Ferrán. O. (edas.). Legacies of Violence in Contemporary Spain. Routledge. 2016
  • Mainwaring, S. and Pérez-Liñán, A.. Democracies and Dictatorships in Latin America: Emergence, Survival, and Fall. Cambridge University Press. 2013
(*) Access to some electronic resources may be restricted to members of the university community and require validation through Campus Global. If you try to connect from outside of the University you will need to set up a VPN

The course syllabus may change due academic events or other reasons.