List of totalitarian regimes

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This is a list of totalitarian dictatorships.

The list distinguishes between totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, listing the former and not the latter. Totalitarianism is 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 Category Leader Ideologies Government End goals Start date End date
Soviet Union Union of Soviet Socialist Republics[2] Communist Joseph Stalin[2] as General Secretary of the Communist Party,

then as Premier of the Soviet Union

Stalin's cult of personality
Soviet socialist patriotism
Federal Marxist–Leninist one-party totalitarian dictatorship Socialism in one country (at times) World communism World revolution (at times). 1924[2] 1953[2][3][4][5]
Nazi Germany Greater German Reich[2] National Socialist Adolf Hitler[2] as the Führer of Germany Fascism
National Socialism
German nationalism

Extreme anti-semitism

Unitary Hitlerist Nazi one-party totalitarian dictatorship[6] Axis victory in World War II
Final Solution to the Jewish Question[7]
Greater Germanic Reich[7]
Thousand Year Reich[7]
1933[2] 1945[2]
Romania National Legionary State[8][9] Fascist Ion Antonescu as Conducător of Romania Romanian fascism
Clerical fascism
Romanian nationalism
Social conservatism
Unitary Fascist one-party totalitarian dictatorship Axis victory in World War II
Greater Romania
1940 1941
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan[10][11][12] Islamist Mohammed Omar[13][14] Deobandi fundamentalism[15]
Religious nationalism[18]
Salafi jihadism[19]
Unitary Islamic theocratic totalitarian dictatorship[20] Talibanization
Taliban takeover of Afghanistan[21]
1996 2001
North Korea Democratic People's Republic of Korea[22][23][2] Communist (active) Kim dynasty[2] as Supreme Leaders of the DPRK Songbun[24]
Korean ethnic nationalism
North Korean cult of personality


Unitary Juche one-party socialist republic under a hereditary totalitarian dictatorship Korean reunification 1948 present
China People's Republic of China[2] Communist Mao Zedong as Chairman of the Communist Party of China[2] Mao Zedong Thought
Mao cult
Chinese nationalism
Unitary Maoist one-party totalitarian dictatorship Chinese reunification
World communism
World revolution
1949 1976
Cambodia Democratic Kampuchea[25][26] Communist Pol Pot as the Leader of the Khmer Rouge Agrarian socialism
Khmer nationalism
Ethnic nationalism
Mao Zedong Thought
Unitary Pol potist one-party totalitarian dictatorship Cambodian genocide
World communism
World revolution
Year Zero
1975 1979
People's Socialist Republic of Albania[27][28][29][30] Communist Enver Hoxha (1946-1985)
Ramiz Alia (1985-1991) as First Secretaries of the Party of Labour of Albania
Hoxha’s cult of personality
Unitary Hoxhaist one-party totalitarian dictatorship Greater Albania
World communism
World revolution
1946 1990
Socialist Republic of Romania[31][32] National Communist Nicolae Ceaușescu as Conducător of Romania Ceaușism
Nicolae Ceaușescu's cult of personality
Romanian nationalism
National Communism
Unitary Ceaușist national communist one-party totalitarian dictatorship Greater Romania
World communism
World revolution
1971 1989
MyanmarSocialist Republic of the Union of Burma[25] Left-wing Nationalist Ne Win as Chairman of the Burma Socialist Programme Party Burmese Way to Socialism
Buddhist socialism
Burmese nationalism
Unitary one-party socialist republic under a military totalitarian dictatorship Autarky 1962 1988
Eritrea State of Eritrea[33][34] Left-wing Nationalist (active) Isaias Afewerki as President of the State of Eritrea Eritrean nationalism
Left-wing nationalism
Unitary one-party presidential republican totalitarian dictatorship 1993 present


  1. ^ Sondrol, Paul C. (2009). "Totalitarian and Authoritarian Dictators: A Comparison of Fidel Castro and Alfredo Stroessner". Journal of Latin American Studies. 23 (3): 599–620. doi:10.1017/S0022216X00015868.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Totalitarianism". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2018.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ "Foundations of the Nazi State".
  7. ^ a b c "BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Nazi beliefs".
  8. ^ "A Unique Death Cult". Slate. 2017-02-21.
  9. ^ Final Report, pp.115, 323
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ "The Totalitarian Present - The American Interest". 1 September 2009.
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ "The Totalitarian Present - The American Interest". 1 September 2009.
  20. ^
  21. ^ "The Totalitarian Present - The American Interest". 1 September 2009.
  22. ^ "North Korea country profile". BBC News. 9 April 2018 – via
  23. ^ "Kim Jong Un's North Korea: Life inside the totalitarian state". Washington Post.
  24. ^ a b "What Is The Juche Ideology Of North Korea?".
  25. ^ 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
  26. ^ O'Kane, Rosemary H T (1993). "Cambodia in the zero years: rudimentary totalitarianism". Third World Quarterly. 14 (4): 735–748. doi:10.1080/01436599308420354. JSTOR 3992949.
  27. ^
  28. ^ 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.
  29. ^ Bedini, Belina (2014). "The Legitimation of the Albanian Totalitarian Regime". Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences. 5 (16): 500–5. doi:10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n16p500.
  30. ^ "Albania's EU aspirations still hampered by totalitarian past | DW | 22.03.2012".
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^ Taylor, Adam (12 June 2015). "The brutal dictatorship the world keeps ignoring" – via
  34. ^ "UN calls Eritrea a 'totalitarian' state ruled by fear". Daily Nation. Kenya. June 8, 2015. Retrieved November 7, 2018.