List of totalitarian regimes

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This is a list of totalitarian regimes. There are regimes that have been commonly referred to as "totalitarian", or the concept of totalitarianism has been applied to them, for which there is wide consensus among scholars to be called as such. Totalitarian regimes are usually distinguished from authoritarian regimes in the sense that totalitarianism represents an extreme version of authoritarianism. Authoritarianism primarily differs from totalitarianism in that social and economic institutions exist that are not under governmental control.[1]


Country Start of
End of
Leader(s) Ruling party/group Ideology Government Continent
Soviet Union Union of Soviet Socialist Republics[2][3][4][5] 1917[2] 1953[2][6][7][8] Vladimir Lenin (1917–1924)
Joseph Stalin (1924–1953)
Communist Party of the Soviet Union Marxism–Leninism
Soviet Communism
Soviet socialist patriotism
Federal one-party socialist republic Eurasia
Mongolian People's Republic Mongolian People's Republic[9][10][11][12] 1921 1953 Joseph Stalin (de facto) (1924–1953)
Khorloogiin Choibalsan
Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party Marxism–Leninism
Unitary one-party socialist republic Asia
Fascist Italy (1922–1943) Fascist Italy[13][14][15][16][17][note 1] 1925 1943 Benito Mussolini National Fascist Party Corporatism
Unitary one-party constitutional monarchy Europe
Manchukuo Manchukuo (Empire of Manchuria)[18] 1932 1945 Puyi Concordia Association of Manchukuo Anti-communism
Manchurian nationalism
One-party constitutional monarchy (de jure) and puppet state of the Empire of Japan (de facto) Asia
Nazi Germany Greater German Reich[2] 1933[2] 1945[2] Adolf Hitler National Socialist German Workers' Party Antisemitism
Scientific racism
Unitary one-party Nazi fascist state[20] Europe
Empire of Japan[21][22][23][24] 1940 1945 Hirohito

Hideki Tojo

Imperial Rule Assistance Association Shōwa Statism
Unitary one-party constitutional monarchy Asia
People's Socialist Republic of Albania[25][26][27] 1946 1990 Enver Hoxha
Ramiz Alia
Party of Labour of Albania Anti-revisionism
Unitary one-party republic Europe
North Korea Democratic People's Republic of Korea[28][29][2] 1948 Active Kim dynasty Workers' Party of Korea Juche
Unitary one-party socialist republic[30] Asia
Hungarian People's Republic Hungarian People's Republic[31][32][33][34] 1949 1953 Mátyás Rákosi Hungarian Working People's Party Marxism–Leninism Unitary one-party socialist republic Europe
China People's Republic of China[35][36] 1949 1976[2] Mao Zedong[2] Chinese Communist Party Chinese Communism
Unitary one-party socialist republic Asia
East Germany German Democratic Republic[37][38] 1949 1989 Wilhelm Pieck
Walter Ulbricht
Erich Honecker (1976–1989)
Socialist Unity Party of Germany Marxism–Leninism Unitary one-party socialist republic Europe
Romania National Legionary State [39][40][41] 1940 1941 Ion Antonescu
Horia Sima
Iron Guard Fascism
Unitary one-party duumvirate under a constitutional monarchy Europe
Myanmar Myanmar Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma[42] 1962 1988 Ne Win Burma Socialist Programme Party Burmese Way to Socialism Unitary one-party socialist republic Asia
Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea[43] 1968 1979 Francisco Macías Nguema United National Workers' Party Anti-colonialism[44]
Unitary socialist one-party presidential republic Africa
Socialist Republic of Romania[46][47] 1971 1989 Nicolae Ceaușescu Romanian Communist Party Marxism–Leninism
National Communism (after 1960)
Unitary one-party socialist republic Europe
Cambodia Democratic Kampuchea[42][48] 1975 1979 Pol Pot Communist Party of Kampuchea Agrarianism
Khmer nationalism
Unitary one-party socialist republic Asia
Turkmenistan Republic of Turkmenistan[49][50][51] 1991 Active[52] Saparmurat Niyazov
Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow
Democratic Party of Turkmenistan Nationalism
Social conservatism[53]
Unitary one-party presidential republic Asia
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan[54][55] 1996 2001 Mohammed Omar[56][57] Taliban (de facto) Deobandi Islamic fundamentalism[58]
Religious nationalism[59]
Salafist jihadism[56]
Unitary Islamic theocracy administered by shura councils Asia
Eritrea State of Eritrea[60][61] 2001[62] Active Isaias Afwerki People's Front for Democracy and Justice Eritrean nationalism
Left-wing nationalism
Unitary one-party presidential republic Africa
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant[63][note 2] 2014[64] 2019 Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi ISIS Qutbism
Salafi jihadism
Unitary Islamic theocratic caliphate Asia


  1. ^ Hannah Arendt in The Origins of Totalitarianism disputes that Italy was a totalitarian state.
  2. ^ The Islamic State did not receive any international recognition despite achieving de facto statehood.


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  6. ^ Rutland, Peter (1993). The Politics of Economic Stagnation in the Soviet Union: The Role of Local Party Organs in Economic Management. Cambridge University Press. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-521-39241-9. after 1953 ...This was still an oppressive regime, but not a totalitarian one.
  7. ^ Krupnik, Igor (1995). "4. Soviet Cultural and Ethnic Policies Towards Jews: A Legacy Reassessed". In Ro'i, Yaacov (ed.). Jews and Jewish Life in Russia and the Soviet Union. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-714-64619-0. The era of 'social engineering' in the Soviet Union ended with the death of Stalin in 1953 or soon after; and that was the close of the totalitarian regime itself.
  8. ^ von Beyme, Klaus (2014). On Political Culture, Cultural Policy, Art and Politics. Springer. p. 65. ISBN 978-3-319-01559-0. The Soviet Union after the death of Stalin moved from totalitarianism to authoritarian rule.
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  13. ^ Gentile, Emilio (2008). "Fascism and the Italian Road to Totalitarianism". Constellations. 15 (3): 291–302. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8675.2008.00492.x. ISSN 1467-8675.
  14. ^ Morgan, Philip (2004), Morgan, Philip (ed.), "The Construction of the 'Totalitarian' State, 1925–29", Italian Fascism, 1915–1945, The Making of the 20th Century, London: Macmillan Education UK, pp. 96–124, doi:10.1007/978-0-230-80267-4_4, ISBN 978-0-230-80267-4, retrieved 2021-08-20
  15. ^ Roberts, David D. (2009). "'Political Religion' and the Totalitarian Departures of Inter-War Europe: On the Uses and Disadvantages of an Analytical Category". Contemporary European History. 18 (4): 381–414. ISSN 0960-7773.
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  18. ^ Dean, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific (2013-05-12). "Evolution of Manchukuo Concordia Association (1932 - 1945) as a Political Institution and Vanguard of Ideology". ANU College of Asia & the Pacific. Retrieved 2021-09-02.
  19. ^ Duara, Prasenjit (2004). Sovereignty and Authenticity: Manchukuo and the East Asian Modern. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-0-7425-3091-1.
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  21. ^ Stein, Guenther (January 1938). ""Totalitarian" Japan". Foreign Affairs. 16: 15 – via JSTOR.
  22. ^ Chatani, Sayaka (2018). Nation-Empire: Ideology and Rural Youth Mobilization in Japan and Its Colonies. Columbia University: Cornell University Press. pp. 10–366. ISBN 978-1-5017-3076-4.
  23. ^ Lucken, Grimwade, Michael, Karen (2013). The Japanese and the War: Expectation, Perception, and the Shaping of Memory. Columbia University: Columbia University Press. pp. 50–300. ISBN 978-0-231-54398-9.
  24. ^ Iguchi, Haruo (2003). Unfinished Business: Ayukawa Yoshisuke and U.S.-Japan Relations, 1937–1952. Harvard University: Harvard University Asia Center. pp. All. ISBN 978-1-68417-354-9.
  25. ^ Mullahi, Anila; Dhimitri, Jostina (2015). "Education Issues in a Totalitarian State (Case of Albania)". Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences. 174: 4103–4107. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.01.1161.
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  27. ^ "Albania's EU aspirations still hampered by totalitarian past | DW | 22.03.2012".
  28. ^ "North Korea country profile". BBC News. 9 April 2018.
  29. ^ "Kim Jong Un's North Korea: Life inside the totalitarian state". Washington Post.
  30. ^ Inc, Encyclopaedia Britannica (1 March 2014). Britannica Book of the Year 2014. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. ISBN 9781625131713.
  31. ^ Bihari, Mihály (2013). "Magyarországi pártrendszerek (Történeti és analitikus bemutatás)" [Party systems of Hungary (historical and analytical presentation)]. Politológia: a politika és a modern állam: pártok és ideológiák [Political Science: Politics and the Modern State: Parties and Ideologies] (in Hungarian). Budapest: Nemzedékek Tudása Tankönyvkiadó. p. 367. ISBN 978-963-197-628-1. OCLC 1081799738. Az egypárti diktatúra első szakasza 1949 nyarától 1953 nyaráig (az első Nagy Imre-kormány kinevezéséig) tartott. Ennek az időszaknak azegypártrendszere olyan totalitárius egypártrendszer, amely összekapcsolódott Rákosi Mátyás despotikus személyi hatalmával. [The first phase of the one-party dictatorship lasted from the summer of 1949 to the summer of 1953 (until the appointment of the first Imre Nagy government). The one-party system of this period is a totalitarian one-party system connected with the despotic personal power of Mátyás Rákosi.]
  32. ^ Mezey, Barna; Gosztonyi, Gergely, eds. (2003). "A szovjet típusú államberendezkedés Magyarországon (1949–1956)" [The Soviet-type state system in Hungary (1949–1956)]. Magyar alkotmánytörténet [Hungarian Constitutional History] (in Hungarian). Budapest: Osiris Kiadó. pp. 467–468. ISBN 963-389-532-4. OCLC 1014875954. ... a párt nemcsak megszervezni igyekezett a társadalmat, hanem megpróbálta saját képére és hasonlatosságára formálni, s ellenőrzése alá vonta a termelést és az elosztást. ... A magyar társadalom ellenállása csupán néhány évig biztosította a valóban totalitárius berendezkedést. [... the party not only sought to organize society, but also to shape it in its own image and likeness, bringing production and distribution under its control. ... The resistance of the Hungarian society ensured a truly totalitarian system for only a few years.]
  33. ^ Körösényi, András; Tóth, Csaba; Török, Gábor (2007). "A kommunista korszak tradíciója" [The tradition of the communist era]. A magyar politikai rendszer [The Hungarian Political System] (in Hungarian). Budapest: Osiris Kiadó. p. 21. ISBN 978-963-389-963-2. OCLC 1088039656. A politikai hatalom totális jellegűvé vált ... A rendszer totalitárius jellege abban ragadható meg, hogy a pártállami kontroll a politikai szférán messze túlmenően minden létszférára – a gazdaságtól a kultúrán keresztül egészen az iskolai és ifjúsági szocializációig – kiterjedt. [Political power has become total in nature ... The totalitarian nature of the system can be grasped in the fact that party-state control extended far beyond the political sphere to all spheres of existence, from the economy through culture to school and youth socialization.]
  34. ^ Romsics, Ignác (2010). "A rákosista diktatúra" [The Rákosist dictatorship]. Magyarország története a XX. században [History of Hungary in the 20th Century] (in Hungarian). Budapest: Osiris Kiadó. p. 337. ISBN 978-963-276-179-4. OCLC 1081699371. Nem kétséges, hogy az 1949-re kialakult magyar rendszer ... kimeríti a totalitarianizmus fogalmát. [There is no doubt that the Hungarian system formed by 1949 ... exhausts the concept of totalitarianism.]
  35. ^ Pei, Minxin. “China: Totalitarianism’s Long Shadow.” Journal of Democracy 32, no. 2 (2021): 5–21.
  36. ^ Roger Garside, "Totalitarian China: Outwardly Strong, Inwardly Weak", Journal of Political Risk, Vol. 9, No. 5, May 2021
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  39. ^ Groza, Cristian Alexandru (2014). "The Fascist Phenomenon. National Legionary State between laws, journals, memoirs, and the Jewish repression between 20-23 January 1941". Journal of Education, Culture and Society. 61: 61–76 – via
  40. ^ Haynes, Rebecca (December 2008). "Work Camps, Commerce, and the Education of the 'New Man' in the Romanian Legionary Movement". The Historical Journal. 51: 943–967 – via JSTOR.
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  42. ^ a b Rummel, R.J. (1994). "Democide in totalitarian states: Mortacracies and megamurderers.". In Charney, Israel W. (ed.). Widening circle of genocide. Transaction Publishers. p. 5. There is much confusion about what is meant by totalitarian in the literature, including the denial that such systems even exist. I define a totalitarian state as one with a system of government that is unlimited constitutionally or by countervailing powers in society (such as by a church, rural gentry, labor unions, or regional powers); is not held responsible to the public by periodic secret and competitive elections; and employs its unlimited power to control all aspects of society, including the family, religion, education, business, private property, and social relationships. Under Stalin, the Soviet Union was thus totalitarian, as was Mao's China, Pol Pot's Cambodia, Hitler's Germany, and U Ne Win's Burma
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