LaVINIA STAN’s Website


A Comparative Politics specialist, I have worked mainly on democracy and democratization, especially religion and politics, and transitional justice. In the area of religion and politics I’m interested in church-state relations in Europe; why religious groups oppose/support dictatorial regimes; and the collaboration of clergy with communist secret political police. In transitional justice, I’ve tried to explain why some new democracies deal with their recent past of human rights abuses, while others don’t. My research has been generously funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC) with multiple research grants.

In 2014, Dr. Lucian Turcescu won a large SSHRCC grant to study religious groups’ collaboration/resistance in communist Romania. I serve as co-investigator for this 5-year project.  Church, State, and Democracy in Expanding Europe, co-authored for Oxford University Press in 2011, investigates religion and politics in all former communist countries accepted in the European Union in 2004/7. That project continued our work in the field of religion and politics, which resulted in Religion and Politics in Post-Communist Romania (Oxford University Press, 2007).

I co-edited with Dr. Nadya Nedelsky Post-Communist Transitional Justice: Lessons from 25 Years of Experience for Cambridge University Press (2015). The volume is my third with that press, and follows Encyclopedia of Transitional Justice (co-edited with Nadya in 2013), the first comprehensive reference work in the field, and Transitional Justice in Post-Communist Romania (2013), which examines state and non-state efforts to redress the communist past in that country.

A former member of the Scientific Council of the Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes and the Memory of Romanian Exile, and the National Council for the Recognition of University Titles, Diplomas and Certificates of the Romanian Ministry of Education, I also served on Committee 15 of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the adjudication committees of the Romanian Executive Agency for Higher Education Research, Development and Innovation Funding. I am the President of the Society for Romanian Studies, and a member of the Club of Rome and the scientific/advisory boards of twenty academic journals. In 2009, I participated in the project on "How the memory of crimes committed by totalitarian regimes is dealt with in the member states” funded by the Directorate-General of Justice, Freedom and Security (European Commission) and became Associate Editor for the peer-reviewed Women's Studies International Forum. I regularly serve as Expert Witness in court cases of asylum and deportation.

Director, Centre for Post-Communist Studies
Chair, Department of Political Science, NH - 511
St. Francis Xavier University 
Antigonish, NS, Canada
Phone: (902) 867-5084
Fax: (902) 867-3243
email: lstan (at)
Blog webpage

My Research Interests