Ideocracies in Comparison: Legitimation – Cooptation – Repression, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Ideocracies in Comparison

Legitimation – Cooptation – Repression, 1st Edition

Edited by Uwe Backes, Steffen Kailitz


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Ideocracies, or ideological dictatorships, such as the "Third Reich", the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China have, much more than any other kinds of autocracy, characterized the history of the 20th century. Despite their undeniable loss of significance, ideocracies have not disappeared from the world in the 21st century. This book explores the functioning of ideocracies and analyses the typical interplay of legitimation, co-optation and repression which autocratic elites use in an attempt to stabilize their rule.

In the first part of the book, the contributors discuss the conceptual history of the ideocracy notion. The second part offers case studies pertaining to the Soviet State, Italy, the National Socialist Regime, the German Democratic Republic, the People’s Republic of China, North Korea and Cuba. Finally, the third part compares various ideocracies and draws together key themes.

Uniting the perspectives of history, philosophy and political science through the use of case studies and systematic comparisons, this book offers a unique examination of ideocracies both past and present which will be of interest to students and scholars researching political regimes, political history and comparative politics, as well as other disciplines.

Table of Contents

Part I: Ideocracy: Term und Concept 1. "Ideocracy" – A Sketch of the History of a Concept Uwe Backes 2. Ideocracy, or the Birth of Violence out of Detrivialized Morale Hermann Lübbe 3. Ideological Self-Limitation in Ideocracies Lothar Fritze 4. Legitimation, Co-optation, and Repression in Ideocracies: A Rational Choice Perspective Peter Bernholz 5. Do Ideocracies Constitute a Distinct Subtype of Autocratic Regimes? Johannes Gerschewski Part II: Ideocratic Regimes in History and Present 6. Legitimation and Repression in the Soviet State (1917-1991) Leonid Luks 7. Legitimation, Repression and Cooptation in Fascist Italy Lorenzo Santoro 8. Legitimation, Co-optation, and Repression in the National Socialist Regime Wolfgang Bialas 9. Legitimation, Repression and Co-optation in the German Democratic Republic Udo Grashoff 10. Fine-tuning Legitimation, Co-optation, and Repression in the People’s Republic of China Christian Göbel 11. Ideocratic Legitimation in North Korea Jiwon Yoon 12. Political Rule in Revolutionary Cuba between Legitimation, Co-optation, and Repression Peter Thiery Part III: Ideocracies in Comparison 13. The Legitimizing Role of Palingenetic Myth in Ideocracies Roger Griffin 14. Legitimation through Performance? Output Legitimacy in Autocratic Regimes Manfred G. Schmidt 15. Characteristics of the Integration of Elites and Citizens in Ideocracies Steffen Kailitz 16. National Socialist and Communist Violence Compared—A Contribution to the Research on Repression and Oppression in Ideocracies Jerzy Maćków 17.Results Uwe Backes and Steffen Kailitz

About the Editors

Uwe Backes is deputy director at the Hannah Arendt Institute on Totalitarianism Research and Professor of Political Science at the Technical University of Dresden.

Steffen Kailitz is senior researcher at the Hannah Arendt Institute on Totalitarianism Research and teaches political science at the Technical University of Dresden.

About the Series

Extremism and Democracy

This series covers academic studies within the broad fields of ‘extremism’ and ‘democracy’, with volumes focusing on adjacent concepts such as populism, radicalism, and ideological/religious fundamentalism. These topics have been considered largely in isolation by scholars interested in the study of political parties, elections, social movements, activism, and radicalisation in democratic settings. A key focus of the series, therefore, is the (inter-)relation between extremism, radicalism, populism, fundamentalism, and democracy. Since its establishment in 1999, the series has encompassed both influential contributions to the discipline and informative accounts for public debate. Works will seek to problematise the role of extremism, broadly defined, within an ever-globalising world, and/or the way social and political actors can respond to these challenges without undermining democratic credentials.

Learn more…

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