António Costa Pinto

"Coping with the Double Legacy of Authoritarianism and Revolution in Portuguese Democracy."

South European Society and Politics


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Comparative research on democratisation suggests the political space for the immediate punishment of previous dictatorships depends on the type of transition and the correlative power-sharing and veto capacity of the political actors and institutions. This article argues that the type and diversity of transitional justice in Portugal’s democratisation must be correlated not only with the absence of the veto capacity of former authoritarian elites and institutions, due to their collapse, but mainly with the cleavages opened by democratisation and military intervention in politics. We also argue that the nature of the transition is superimposed on the nature of the authoritarian regime and the extent of its legacy in the type of transitional justice, and that the transition’s powerful dynamic served to constitute another legacy for the consolidation of democracy, strongly counterbalancing those of the authoritarian regime.

Contact Information

Antonio Costa Pinto   |
Institute of Social Sciences   |   Av. Professor Anibal Betencourt, 9   |   1600-189 Lisbon   |   Portugal