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] 1924 1953[2][6][7][8] Joseph Stalin 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] 1924 1953 Joseph Stalin (de facto) (1924–1953)
Khorloogiin Choibalsan
Communist Party of the Soviet Union (de facto)
Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party
Unitary one-party socialist republic Asia
Fascist Italy (1922–1943) Kingdom of Italy[13][14][15][16][17][note 1] 1922 1943 Benito Mussolini National Fascist Party Fascism
Unitary one-party constitutional monarchy Europe
Manchukuo Empire of Manchuria[18] 1932 1945
Zheng Xiaoxu
Zhang Jinghui
Concordia Association of Manchukuo Anti-communism
Manchurian nationalism
One-party constitutional monarchy 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
Slovak Republic (1939–1945) Slovak Republic 1939 1945 Jozef Tiso Slovak People’s Party Clerical fascism
Slovak nationalism
Unitary one-party fascist state Europe
Empire of Japan[21][22][23][24] 1940 1945 Hirohito
Fumimaro Konoe
Hideki Tojo
Kuniaki Koiso
Kantarō Suzuki
(Until June 1945)
Imperial Rule Assistance Association Shōwa Statism
Japanese nationalism
Japanese militarism
Hakkō ichiu
Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere
State Shinto
Unitary one-party constitutional monarchy Asia
Romania National Legionary State[25][26][27] 1940 1941 Ion Antonescu
Horia Sima
Iron Guard Fascism
Unitary one-party fascist constitutional monarchy Europe
Independent State of Croatia Independent State of Croatia[28][29] 1941 1945 Ante Pavelić Ustaše Fascism
Clerical Fascism
Anti-Serb sentiment
Fascist one-party state Europe
Italian Social Republic[30][31] 1943 1945 Benito Mussolini Republican Fascist Party Fascism
Unitary one-party state Europe
People's Socialist Republic of Albania[32][33][34] 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[35][36][2] 1948 Active Kim dynasty Workers' Party of Korea Juche
Marxism–Leninism (former)
Stalinism (former)
Unitary one-party socialist republic[37] Asia
Hungarian People's Republic Hungarian People's Republic[38][39][40][41] 1949 1953 Mátyás Rákosi Hungarian Working People's Party Marxism–Leninism Unitary one-party socialist republic Europe
China People's Republic of China[42][43] 1949 1976 Mao Zedong[2] Chinese Communist Party Chinese Communism
Unitary one-party socialist republic Asia
Myanmar Myanmar Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma[44] 1962 1988 Ne Win Burma Socialist Programme Party Burmese Way to Socialism Unitary one-party socialist republic Asia
Syrian Arab Republic[45][46][47][48][49][50] 1963 Active Amin al-Hafiz (1963-1966)
General Salah Jadid (1966-70)
General Hafez al-Assad (1970-2000)
Bashar al-Assad (2000-present)
Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party – Syria Region Neo-Ba'athism
Revolutionary Socialism
Left-wing nationalism
Unitary semi-presidential republic (one-party Ba'athist state until 2012)[51] Asia
Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea[52] 1968 1979 Francisco Macías Nguema United National Workers' Party Ultranationalism
Unitary socialist one-party presidential republic Africa
Socialist Republic of Romania[55][56] 1947 1989 Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej
Nicolae Ceaușescu
Romanian Communist Party Marxism–Leninism
National Communism (after 1960)
Unitary one-party socialist republic Europe
Cambodia Democratic Kampuchea[44][57] 1975 1979 Pol Pot Communist Party of Kampuchea Agrarianism
Khmer nationalism
Unitary one-party socialist republic Asia
Iraq Iraq Iraqi Republic / Republic of Iraq[58][59][60][61] 1979 2003 Saddam Hussein Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party Ba'athism Unitary one-party socialist republic Asia
 Turkmenistan[62][63][64][65] 1991 Active Saparmurat Niyazov
Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow
Serdar Berdimuhamedow
Democratic Party of Turkmenistan Nationalism
Social conservatism[66]
Unitary presidential republic Asia
 Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan[67][68] 1996 2001 Mullah Omar[69][70] Taliban Deobandi Islamic fundamentalism[71]
Religious nationalism[72]
Unitary theocratic Islamic emirate Asia
Eritrea State of Eritrea[73][74] 2001[75] 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 Islamic State[76][77][78][79] 2014 2019 Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Islamic State Islamic fundamentalism
Salafi jihadism
Unitary Wahhabist proto-state Asia
 Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan[80] 2021 Active Hibatullah Akhundzada Taliban Deobandi Islamic fundamentalism
Religious nationalism
Unitary provisional theocratic Islamic emirate Asia


  1. ^ Hannah Arendt in The Origins of Totalitarianism disputes that Italy was a totalitarian state.


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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 978-0-7146-4619-0. 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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  21. ^ Stein, Guenther (January 1938). ""Totalitarian" Japan". Foreign Affairs. 16 (2): 294–308. doi:10.2307/20028849. JSTOR 20028849 – 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.
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  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.
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  38. ^ 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 978-963-19-7628-1. 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.]
  39. ^ 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.]
  40. ^ 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.]
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