We live in an era of democratic backsliding in which fragile new democracies risk reverting back into dictatorship. Can transitional justice—that is, mechanisms established by new democracies to deal with former authoritarian elites—prevent sliding back to authoritarianism? Or does such backsliding occur despite extensive transitional justice efforts?
The Transitional Justice and Democratic Stability Lab is a research team led by Professor Monika Nalepa at the University of Chicago. The lab is comprised of graduate and undergraduate students doing research on regime transitions, human rights, and democratic quality. As part of the lab, students receive training in dataset creation and formal and statistical methods, as well as guidance through the publication process. Professor Nalepa and the students in the lab formalize the mechanisms linking authoritarian legacies to prospects for successful democratization and evaluate the empirical implications of these theories using the NSF-funded Global Transitional Justice Dataset.