Political repression


Political repression

Political repression is the persecution of an individual or group for political reasons, particularly for the purpose of restricting or preventing their ability to take part in the political life of society. Political repression may be represented by discriminatory policies, human rights violation, surveillance abuse, police brutality, imprisonment, involuntary settlement, stripping of citizen's rights, and violent action such as the murder, summary executions, torture, forced disappearance and other extrajudicial punishment of political activists, dissidents, or general population.

Where political repression is sanctioned and organised by the state, it may constitute state terrorism, genocide, politicide or crimes against humanity. Systemic and violent political repression is a typical feature of dictatorships, totalitarian states and similar regimes. In such regimes, acts of political repression may be carried out by secret police forces, army, paramilitary groups or death squads. Relevant activities have also been found within democratic contexts as well.

If political repression is not carried out with the approval of the state, a section of government may still be responsible. An example is the FBI COINTELPRO operations in the United States between 1956 and 1971.

In some states, such as the former Soviet Union, "repression" can be an official term and official legal policy of repression with respect to internal political opponents of the state.

Data on human rights violation and state repression

There are currently a wide variety of databases available which attempt to measure, in a rigorous fashion exactly what governments do against those within their territorial jurisdiction. The list below was created and maintained by Prof. Christian Davenport at the University of Maryland. These efforts vary with regard to the particular form of human rights violation they are concerned with, the source employed for the data collection as well as the spatial and temporal domain of interest.

Global coverage

* [http://ciri.binghamton.edu/ "CIRI Human Rights Data Project, 1981-2006"] . by Profs David Cingranelli and David Richards
* [http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=15 "Freedom in the World, 1976-2006"] by Freedom House
* [http://www.cidcm.umd.edu/inscr/genocide "Genocide & Politicide, 1955-2005"] by Prof. Barbara Harff and the Political Instability Task Force
* [http://www.politicalterrorscale.org/ "Political Terror Scale, 1976-2006] by Prof. Mark Gibney
* [http://web.ku.edu/keds/data.dir/atrocities.html "Worldwide Atrocities Dataset, 1995-2007] by the Political Instability Task Force/KEDS
* [http://freedom.indiemaps.com/ "World Freedom Atlas, 1990-2006"] - Mapping Program by Prof. Zachary Forest Johnson

Regional coverage

* [http://web.ku.edu/ronfran/data/index.html "European Protest and Coercion, 1980-1995"] by Prof. Ron Francisco

elective coverage of state repression

* [http://web.ku.edu/keds/data.html "The Kansas Event Data System (KEDS)"] by Profs. Deborah “Misty” Gerner and Phill Schrodt
* [http://garnet.acns.fsu.edu/~whmoore/ipi/ipi.html "Intranational Political Interactions Project, 1979-1992"] by Profs. David Davis and Will Moore
* [http://www.cidcm.umd.edu/mar "Minorities at Risk, 1945-2006"] by the Center for International Development and Conflict Management

Country coverage of state repression

* [http://shr.aaas.org/guatemala/ciidh/data.html "Guatemala, 1960-1996"] by the International Center for Human Rights Research
* [http://shr.aaas.org/kosovo/index.html "Kosovo, 1999"] by the Human Rights Data Analysis Group - Benetech
* [http://www.christiandavenport.com "Rwanda, 1994"] by Profs. Christian Davenport and Allan Stam - The Genodynamics Project
* [http://hrdag.org/resources/SL-TRC_data.html "Sierra Leone, 1991-2000"] by the Human Rights Data Analysis Group - Benetech
* [http://www.hrdag.org/resources/timor-leste_data.shtml "Timor-Leste, 1974-1999"] by the Human Rights Data Analysis Group - Benetech
* [http://www.christiandavenport.com "United States vs. the Black Panthers, 1967-1973"] by Prof. Christian Davenport - "Rashomon and Repression"
* [http://www.christiandavenport.com "United States vs. the Republic of New Africa, 1968-1974] by Prof. Christian Davenport - "Out on the Inside"

ee also

*Amnesty International
*Death squad
*Dissident
*Forced disappearance
*Human rights abuse
*National security
*Police state
*Political killing
*Purge
*Secret police
*Worldwide Governance Indicators

Further reading

Articles
* [http://www.bsos.umd.edu/gvpt/davenport/jcr2005.pdf Understanding Covert Repressive Action: The Case of the U.S. Government against the Republic of New Africa (186kb PDF file)] by Christian Davenport, Professor, University of Maryland.
* [http://www.bsos.umd.edu/gvpt/davenport/STATER%7e2.PDF "State Repression and Political Order"] by Christian Davenport, Professor, University of Maryland.

Books
* Davenport, Christian (2007). [http://www.cambridge.org/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=0521864909 "State Repression and the Domestic Democratic Peace"] New York: Cambridge University Press.
* Davenport, Christian, Johnston, Hank and Mueller, Carol (2004). [http://www.upress.umn.edu/Books/D/davenport_repression.html "Repression and Mobilization"] Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
* Donner, Frank J. (1980). The Age of Surveillance: The Aims and Methods of America’s Political Intelligence System. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 0-394-40298-7
* Donner, Frank J. (1990). Protectors of Privilege: Red Squads and Police Repression in Urban America. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-05951-4
*Goldstein, Robert Justin. (1978). Political Repression in Modern America, From 1870 to Present. Boston, G. K. Hall, Cambridge, MA: Schenkman. ISBN 0-8467-0301-7
* Jensen, Joan M. Army Surveillance in America, 1775 - 1980. New Haven. Yale University Press. 1991. ISBN 0-300-04668-5. [http://www.jstor.org/view/00218723/di975301/97p0041f/0 Book review] retrieved April 3, 2006.
* Talbert, Jr. Roy. Negative Intelligence: The Army and the American Left, 1917 - 1941. Jackson. University Press of Mississippi, 1991. ISBN 0-87805-495-2. [http://www.jstor.org/view/00218723/di975301/97p0041f/0 Book review] retrieved April 3, 2006.
*Irvin, Cynthia L. "Militant Nationalism between movement and party in Ireland and the Basque Country


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