Demographic Continuity as a Necessary Condition of Performable Post-communist Token Social Restorations

  • Zenonas Norkus
  • Jurgita Markevičiūtė
  • Ola Grytten
  • Gatis Krūminš
Keywords: post-communist transformation, social restorations, property rights restitution, demographic continuity, Baltic countries, Robert A. Kann (1906–1981)


We test the hypothesis that demographic continuity was a necessary condition of performable token post-communist social restorations. Demographic continuity means sufficient overlapping between populations of original and restored systems. Token social restoration refers to restorations where original and restored systems are identical. It is opposed to type restoration where original and restored systems are numerically different instances of the same type. The identity of original and restored systems in token restorations is achieved by performing various practices in the restored system to establish institutional continuity with the original system. The restitution of property rights is the most important of them in the post-communist restorations. So our hypothesis claims that these practices cannot be performed without sufficient demographic continuity. We abstract the demographic continuity thresholds by measuring shares of survivors from the precommunist times in the population of Baltic countries by 1990. Our data confirm the hypothesis as in none of post-communist countries with demographic continuity below these thresholds there was property rights restitution.