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NCJ Number: 153214 Find in a Library
Title: Sources of Soviet Policing
Journal: Police Studies  Volume:17  Issue:2  Dated:(Summer 1994)  Pages:49-65
Author(s): L Shelley
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 17
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: By adding an ideological imperative to the defense of state power emphasized in continental and colonial police tradition, communist policing embodied a unique form of authoritarian social control.
Abstract: More ideological than police in most authoritarian societies, the Soviet militia served not only to maintain social and political control, but also to enforce citizen compliance with communist ideology. Covert policing and pervasive militia penetration of daily life meant that little social activity occurred outside the scope of state regulation. Although Soviet law enforcement shared many similarities with that of ideological fascist regimes, the Soviet system required far greater controls over economic life, and state interests were protected by the extensive application of criminal law. The history of the Soviet Union shows that an authoritarian state can be maintained without the use of great force if citizens have already been denied autonomy. In contrast to the police forces of other authoritarian regimes, the Soviet militia became less brutal over time as citizens became more compliant and submissive to control measures. Despite the unprecedented array of police power amassed by the Soviet state, however, police controls eventually proved powerless to prevent the dissolution of the last remaining empire of the 20th Century. 9 notes, 15 references, and an appended list of 24 functions of the Soviet Militia under the 1973 USSR statute
Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): Criminology; Foreign police; Marxism; Socialism; Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR)
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