State within a state
State within a state is a political situation in a country when an internal organ ("deep state"), such as the armed forces and civilian authorities (intelligence agencies, police, secret police, administrative agencies and branches of government bureaucracy), does not respond to the civilian political leadership. Although the state within a state can be conspiratorial in nature, the deep state can also take the form of entrenched unelected career civil servants acting in a non-conspiratorial manner, to further their own interests (e.g. continuity of the state as distinct from the administration, job security, enhanced power and authority, pursuit of ideological goals and objectives, and the general growth of their agency) and in opposition to the policies of elected officials, by obstructing, resisting, and subverting the policies and directives of elected officials. The term, like many in politics, derives from the Greek language (κράτος εν κράτει, kratos en kratei, later adopted into Latin as imperium in imperio or status in statu).
Sometimes, the term refers to state companies that, though formally under the command of the government, act de facto like private corporations. Sometimes, the term refers to companies that, though formally private, act de facto like "states within a state".
Political debate surrounding the separation of church and state previously revolved around the perception that if left unchecked, the Church might turn into a kind of State within a State, an illegitimate outgrowth of the State's natural civil power.
In the field of political science, this pop culture concept is studied within the literature on the state. The modern literature on the state is generally tied back to Bringing the State Back In(1985) and remains an active body of scholarly research to this day. Within this literature, the state is understood as both venue (a set of rules under which others act and interact) as well as actor (with its own agenda). Under this dual understanding, the conspiratorial version of the deep state concept would be one version of the 'state as actor' while the non-conspiratorial version would be another version of the 'state as actor.' An example of a non-conspiratorial version of the 'state as actor' from the empirical scholarly literature would be "doing truth to power" (as a play on speaking truth to power, which is what journalists often aspire to do) as studied by Todd La Porte.
The fundamental takeaway from the scholarly literature on the dual nature of the state is that the 'state as actor' (deep state) is a characteristic of all states which can have both good and bad effects and should not be seen as bad by default.
Cases of states within a state
Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia
Soviet political police was frequently described by historians as "State within a state". According to Evgenia Albats, most KGB leaders, including Lavrenty Beria, Yuri Andropov, and Vladimir Kryuchkov, have always struggled for the power with the Communist Party and manipulated the communist leaders.
According to Abdurakhman Avtorkhanov, "It is not true that the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party is a supreme power. The Political Bureau is only a shadow of the real supreme power that stands behind the chair of every Bureau member (...) The real power thinks, acts and dictates for all of us. The name of the power is NKVD—MVD—MGB. The Stalin regime is based not on the Soviets, Party ideals, the power of the Political Bureau or Stalin’s personality, but on the organization and the techniques of the Soviet political police where Stalin plays the role of the first policeman. However he also noted that "To tell that NKVD is «a state within the state» means to belittle the importance of NKVD because this question allows two forces: a normal state and a supernormal NKVD: whereas the only force is Chekism".
According to Ion Mihai Pacepa, "In the Soviet Union, the KGB was a state within a state. Now former KGB officers are running the state. They have custody of the country’s 6,000 nuclear weapons, entrusted to the KGB in the 1950s, and they now also manage the strategic oil industry renationalized by Putin. The KGB successor, rechristened FSB, still has the right to electronically monitor the population, control political groups, search homes and businesses, infiltrate the federal government, create its own front enterprises, investigate cases, and run its own prison system. The Soviet Union had one KGB officer for every 428 citizens. Putin’s Russia has one FSB-ist for every 297 citizens.
List of others alleged cases
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- Algeria's Department of Intelligence and Security
- Cameroon's Cameroon Development Corporation
- Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood
- Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces
Central and South America
- Brazil's Army between the 1940s and 1980s
- British Guiana's Booker-McConnell
- Guatemala's United Fruit Company
- Honduras's United Fruit Company
- PDVSA in pre-Chávez Venezuela
Turkey and the Ottoman Empire
- Ottoman Empire's Committee of Union and Progress
- Ottoman Empire's Janissaries
- Ottoman Empire's Karakol society
- Ottoman Empire's Young Turks
- Deep state in Turkey – Ergenekon, Counter-Guerrilla, Grey Wolves
- Francoist Spain's military forces
- Imperial Japan's Army and the Kwantung Army
- Ministry of Finance (Japan)
- Iran's IRGC
- Iran's SAVAK
- Italy's Propaganda Due
- Jordan's PLO
- Lebanon's PLO
- Lebanon's Hezbollah
- North Korea's OGD, State Security Department
- North Korea's Korean People's Army
- Pakistan's Intelligence Community ISI and/or IB
- Persia Safavid Dynasty's Qizilbash
- Philippines' Iglesia ni Cristo
- Poland's Jaroslaw Kaczynski
- Vietnam's Communist Party
- United Kingdom's MI5 and City of London Corporation
- United States' Intelligence Community, military–industrial complex, CIA or NSA
- Civilian control of the military
- Counterintelligence state
- Deep state in the United States
- Fifth column
- Illiberal democracy
- List of conspiracy theories
- Military coup
- Military dictatorship
- Monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force
- Power behind the throne
- Puppet government
- Shadow government (conspiracy)
- Smoke-filled room
- from Baruch Spinoza: Tractatus politicus, Caput II, § 6.
- Daniel De Leon: "Imperium in imperio" in: Daily People, June 4, 1903.
- Cf William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, IV, c.4 ss. iii.2, p. *54, where the charge of being imperium in imperio was notably levied against the Church
- "Bringing state back - Comparative politics". Cambridge University Press.
- "- Google Scholar". scholar.google.com.
- Yevgenia Albats and Catherine A. Fitzpatrick. The State Within a State: The KGB and Its Hold on Russia--Past, Present, and Future. 1994. ISBN 0-374-52738-5.
- The Chechen Times №17, 30.08.2003. Translated from "Technology of Power", 1991, chapter 34 Russian text
- Symposium: When an Evil Empire Returns, interview with Ion Mihai Pacepa, R. James Woolsey, Jr., Yuri Yarim-Agaev, and Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, FrontPageMagazine.com, June 23, 2006.
- Julia Ioffe (24 July 2015). "Putin Is Down With Polygamy". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
- "BBC ON THIS DAY - 26 - 1981: Italy in crisis as cabinet resigns". Retrieved 9 April 2017.
- Who Controls Pakistan's Powerful ISI?, Radio Free Europe, August 14, 2008
- "Pakistan's shadowy secret service, the ISI". BBC News. 3 May 2011.
- "MI5 exposed as a state within a state". 4 September 2011. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
- "The City: A state within a state". Retrieved 9 April 2017 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
- Ambinder, Marc; Grady, D.B. (2013). Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry. Wiley. ISBN 978-1118146682.
- Priest, Dana; Arkin, William M. (2011). Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State. Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 0316182214. Lay summary – The Quiet Coup: No, Not Egypt. Here. (July 9, 2013).
- Scott, Peter Dale (March 10, 2014). "The State, the Deep State, and the Wall Street Overworld". The Asia-Pacific Journal. 12 (10, No. 5).
- Jordan Michael Smith (October 19, 2014). "Vote all you want. The secret government won’t change.". The Boston Globe.
- Michael J. Glennon (2014). "National Security and Double Government" (PDF). Harvard National Security Journal. 5.
- Lofgren, Mike (2016). The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government. Viking. ISBN 0525428348. Lay summary – Controlled by shadow government: Mike Lofgren reveals how top U.S. officials are at the mercy of the “deep state” (January 6, 2016).