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The Proto-totalitarian State: Punishment and Control in Absolutist Regimes (Hardback)
  • The Proto-totalitarian State: Punishment and Control in Absolutist Regimes (Hardback)
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The Proto-totalitarian State: Punishment and Control in Absolutist Regimes (Hardback)

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£80.99
Hardback 174 Pages / Published: 15/12/2006
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Totalitarian rule is commonly thought to derive from spe- cific ideologies that justify the complete control by the state of social, cultural, and political institutions. The major goal of this volume is to demonstrate that in some cases brutal forms of state control have been the only way to maintain basic social order.

Dmitry Shlapentokh seeks to show that totalitarian or semi-totalitarian regimes have their roots in a fear of disorder that may overtake both rulers and the society at large. Although ideology has played an important role in many totalitarian regimes, it has not always been the chief reason for repression. In many cases, the desire to establish order led to internal terror and intrusiveness in all aspects of human life.

Shlapentokh seeks the roots of this phenomenon in France in the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries, when asocial processes in the wake of the Hundred Years War led to the emergence of a brutal absolutist state whose features and policies bore a striking resemblance to totalitarian regimes in the Soviet Union and China. State punishment and control allowed for relentless drive to "normalize" society with the state actively engaged in the regulation of social life. There were attempts to regulate the economy and instances of social engineering, attempts to populate emerging colonial empires with exiles and produce "new men and women" through reeducation. This increased harshness in dealing with the populace, in fact, the emergence of a new sort of bondage, was combined with a twisted form of humanitarianism and the creation of a rudimentary safety net. Some of these elements can be found in the democratic societies of the modern West, although in their aggregation these attributes are essential features of totalitarian regimes of the modem era.

Publisher: Taylor & Francis Inc
ISBN: 9780765803665
Number of pages: 174
Weight: 408 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"In arguing that "brutal absolutist" proto-totalitarian states--such as 14th-16th century France--emerge to quell social disorder, Dmitry Shlapentokh challenges three regnant schools of thought--that states are the product of elite design or war, that totalitarianism is the product of ideology or discourse, and that totalitarian states can only be modern entities. An iconoclast's delight and a major contribution to the theory of state formation."

--Alexander J. Motyl, Professor of Political Science, Rutgers University-Newark

"Dmitry Shlapentokh has presented an arresting alternative to standard views of the modern state. Rejecting theories which view ideology as central in the expansion of government, and developing a line of thought that owes much to Hobbes, he argues that the growth of state power in early modern times and in contemporary contexts can be understood as a defense against asocial processes of anarchic violence. A forceful challenge to conventional wisdom, the Proto-Totalitarian State should be read closely by historians, political theorists and anyone interested in the nature of power."

--John Gray, Professor of European thought, London School of Economics

"This is a fascinating book. It not only provides an excellent survey of the tools at the disposal of the state to be used against asocial behavior, such as death penalty, the rise of the police force, education and repression against what Shlapentokh calls "vagabonds," but he does it with his enormous erudition and knowledge of his topic."

--Andrzej Korbonski, Professor, Department of Political Science, UCLA


"In arguing that 'brutal absolutist' proto-totalitarian states--such as 14th-16th century France--emerge to quell social disorder, Dmitry Shlapentokh challenges three regnant schools of thought--that states are the product of elite design or war, that totalitarianism is the product of ideology or discourse, and that totalitarian states can only be modern entities. An iconoclast's delight and a major contribution to the theory of state formation."

--Alexander J. Motyl, Rutgers University- Newark

"Dmitry Shalpentokh has presented an arresting alternative to standard views of the modern state. Rejecting theories which view ideology as central in the expansion of government, and developing a line of thought that owes much to Hobbes, he argues that the growth of state power in early times and in contemporary contexts can be understood as a defense against asocial processes of anarchic violence. A forceful challenge to conventional wisdom, The Proto-Totalitarian State should be read closely by historians, political theorists and anyone interested in the nature of power.

--John Gray, London School of Economics

"This is a fascinating book. It not only provides an excellent survey of the tools at the disposal of the state to be used against asocial behavior, such as death penalty, the rise of the police force, education and repression against what Shlapentokh calls 'vagabonds, ' but he does it with his enormous erudition and knowledge of his topic."

--Andrzej Korbonski, UCLA


"In arguing that "brutal absolutist" proto-totalitarian states--such as 14th-16th century France--emerge to quell social disorder, Dmitry Shlapentokh challenges three regnant schools of thought--that states are the product of elite design or war, that totalitarianism is the product of ideology or discourse, and that totalitarian states can only be modern entities. An iconoclast's delight and a major contribution to the theory of state formation."

--Alexander J. Motyl, Professor of Political Science, Rutgers University-Newark

"Dmitry Shlapentokh has presented an arresting alternative to standard views of the modern state. Rejecting theories which view ideology as central in the expansion of government, and developing a line of thought that owes much to Hobbes, he argues that the growth of state power in early modern times and in contemporary contexts can be understood as a defense against asocial processes of anarchic violence. A forceful challenge to conventional wisdom, the Proto-Totalitarian State should be read closely by historians, political theorists and anyone interested in the nature of power."

--John Gray, Professor of European thought, London School of Economics

"This is a fascinating book. It not only provides an excellent survey of the tools at the disposal of the state to be used against asocial behavior, such as death penalty, the rise of the police force, education and repression against what Shlapentokh calls "vagabonds," but he does it with his enormous erudition and knowledge of his topic."

--Andrzej Korbonski, Professor, Department of Political Science, UCLA


"In arguing that 'brutal absolutist' proto-totalitarian states--such as 14th-16th century France--emerge to quell social disorder, Dmitry Shlapentokh challenges three regnant schools of thought--that states are the product of elite design or war, that totalitarianism is the product of ideology or discourse, and that totalitarian states can only be modern entities. An iconoclast's delight and a major contribution to the theory of state formation."

--Alexander J. Motyl, Rutgers University- Newark

"Dmitry Shalpentokh has presented an arresting alternative to standard views of the modern state. Rejecting theories which view ideology as central in the expansion of government, and developing a line of thought that owes much to Hobbes, he argues that the growth of state power in early times and in contemporary contexts can be understood as a defense against asocial processes of anarchic violence. A forceful challenge to conventional wisdom, The Proto-Totalitarian State should be read closely by historians, political theorists and anyone interested in the nature of power.

--John Gray, London School of Economics

"This is a fascinating book. It not only provides an excellent survey of the tools at the disposal of the state to be used against asocial behavior, such as death penalty, the rise of the police force, education and repression against what Shlapentokh calls 'vagabonds, ' but he does it with his enormous erudition and knowledge of his topic."

--Andrzej Korbonski, UCLA


-In arguing that -brutal absolutist- proto-totalitarian states--such as 14th-16th century France--emerge to quell social disorder, Dmitry Shlapentokh challenges three regnant schools of thought--that states are the product of elite design or war, that totalitarianism is the product of ideology or discourse, and that totalitarian states can only be modern entities. An iconoclast's delight and a major contribution to the theory of state formation.-

--Alexander J. Motyl, Professor of Political Science, Rutgers University-Newark

-Dmitry Shlapentokh has presented an arresting alternative to standard views of the modern state. Rejecting theories which view ideology as central in the expansion of government, and developing a line of thought that owes much to Hobbes, he argues that the growth of state power in early modern times and in contemporary contexts can be understood as a defense against asocial processes of anarchic violence. A forceful challenge to conventional wisdom, the Proto-Totalitarian State should be read closely by historians, political theorists and anyone interested in the nature of power.-

--John Gray, Professor of European thought, London School of Economics

-This is a fascinating book. It not only provides an excellent survey of the tools at the disposal of the state to be used against asocial behavior, such as death penalty, the rise of the police force, education and repression against what Shlapentokh calls -vagabonds,- but he does it with his enormous erudition and knowledge of his topic.-

--Andrzej Korbonski, Professor, Department of Political Science, UCLA


-In arguing that 'brutal absolutist' proto-totalitarian states--such as 14th-16th century France--emerge to quell social disorder, Dmitry Shlapentokh challenges three regnant schools of thought--that states are the product of elite design or war, that totalitarianism is the product of ideology or discourse, and that totalitarian states can only be modern entities. An iconoclast's delight and a major contribution to the theory of state formation.-

--Alexander J. Motyl, Rutgers University- Newark

-Dmitry Shalpentokh has presented an arresting alternative to standard views of the modern state. Rejecting theories which view ideology as central in the expansion of government, and developing a line of thought that owes much to Hobbes, he argues that the growth of state power in early times and in contemporary contexts can be understood as a defense against asocial processes of anarchic violence. A forceful challenge to conventional wisdom, The Proto-Totalitarian State should be read closely by historians, political theorists and anyone interested in the nature of power.

--John Gray, London School of Economics

-This is a fascinating book. It not only provides an excellent survey of the tools at the disposal of the state to be used against asocial behavior, such as death penalty, the rise of the police force, education and repression against what Shlapentokh calls 'vagabonds, ' but he does it with his enormous erudition and knowledge of his topic.-

--Andrzej Korbonski, UCLA

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