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
Political repression may be represented by discriminatory
policies, human rights
violation, surveillance abuse
, police brutality
, stripping of citizen's
and violent action
such as the murder, summary
, forced disappearance
and other extrajudicial punishment
, or general population.
Where political repression is sanctioned and organised by the
state, it may constitute state
, politicide or
crimes against humanity
Systemic and violent political repression is a typical feature of
states and similar regimes. In
such regimes, acts of political repression may be carried out by
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.
is the FBI COINTELPRO operations in
States between 1956 and 1971.
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, see Soviet political
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 Kroc Institute & the University of Notre Dame. 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
Selective coverage of state repression
Country coverage of state repression
- Davenport, Christian (2007). State Repression and the Domestic Democratic
Peace New York: Cambridge University Press.
- Davenport, Christian, Johnston, Hank and Mueller, Carol (2004).
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. 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. Book review retrieved April 3, 2006.
- Irvin, Cynthia L. "Militant Nationalism between movement and
party in Ireland and the Basque Country