1st Edition

Ideocracies in Comparison
Legitimation – Cooptation – Repression

ISBN 9780815348337
Published December 27, 2017 by Routledge

USD $51.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

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

View More



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.