The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Political repression

Political repression means the restriction of the abilities of certain groups of people to take part in the political life of a society; or the persecution of people for their political adherence. This is often associated with violent or discriminatory means.

Repression is an organized form of oppression that is carried out by using the power of the state, or by paramilitary groups that can operate with or without state approval.

Sometimes sections of the state apparatus engage in political repression without the approval of the official government. In the United States, the COINTELPRO operations by the FBI from 1956 to 1971 represent an example of this form.

Political repression is usually accompanied by various forms of surveillance abuse and police misconduct , including Police brutality.

In some states, such as Soviet Union, "repression" can be an official term and official policy with respect to internal political opponents of the state.

See also: Purge

Further Reading



  • Goldstein, Robert Justin. (1978). Political Repression in Modern America, From 1870 to Present. Boston, G. K. Hall, Cambridge, MA: Schenkman. ISBN 0846703017
  • Donner, Frank J. (1980). The Age of Surveillance: The Aims and Methods of America’s Political Intelligence System. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 0394402987
  • Donner, Frank J. (1990). Protectors of Privilege: Red Squads and Police Repression in Urban America. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0520059514
Last updated: 06-02-2005 04:39:13
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