Police State

Discipline: Political Science

Theory of purposeful government.

In popular speech a police state is a despotic, arbitrary and tyrannical one. The technical use of the term is different.

A police state is one where the institutions and officials of the state act not in response to public pressures or demands but as the agents of some clear purpose of government.

Source:
Marc Raeff, 'The Well-Ordered Police State', American Historical Review (1975)

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