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Institutional innovations and moral foundations of constitutionalism in east central Europe: Coping with the past human rights violations

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Chapter Summary

The scope and range of past gross human rights violations and the memories of them pose great challenges to post-dictatorial formation of constitutionalism. The chapter briefly outlines the differentiated approaches to past human rights violations, mostly in East Central Europe, but with some regard paid to these activities in other parts of the world. The significantly different approaches taken by the post-totalitarian or post-authoritarian societies are illustrated by behavioral indicators. Religious semantics can be seen here as that cultural factor which provides institutions, discourses, and actions with archetypal meanings, justifications and legitimations, even in secularized societies. In the chapter, this hypothesis is developed, in an ideal-typical way, by reference to the three dominant religious semantics in East Central Europe: the Protestant, the Catholic, and the Christian Orthodox, first and foremost to the powerful Russian Orthodoxy.

Keywords: Christian orthodoxy; constitutionalism; East Central Europe; human rights violation; post-Communist transformation; post-totalitarian society; religious semantics; Russian orthodoxy



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