The project investigates why despite similar constraints on national sovereignty imposed by external supervision, national political elites in some European countries set up novel mechanisms to document the causes of the crisis (e.g. truth commissions or trials) while others refrained.
It provides a theoretical account of the puzzling variation in the mechanisms deployed, comparing pairs of cases adopting different strategies, including truth commissions (Iceland, Cyprus), trials (Ireland, Greece) and de facto impunity (Spain, Portugal).
The project aims to establish the strengths and limitations of each approach in minimizing political polarization, expressed as governmental instability and polarization of ideological extremes. It is based on a database of the political, legal, criminal and regulatory policies formulated in each country as well as incidents of political polarization and governmental instability.
This is an ESRC-funded project (£521,277) commencing in early 2016. The project builds on an interdisciplinary team, including Neophytos Loizides (Politics, Kent), Kieran McEvoy (Law, Queen’s) and Sally Wheeler (Law, Queen’s).