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The British Study of Politics in the Twentieth Century$
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Jack Hayward, Brian Barry, and Archie Brown

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780197262948

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197262948.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

: The Study of Totalitarianism and Authoritarianism

: The Study of Totalitarianism and Authoritarianism

(p.344) (p.345) 12: The Study of Totalitarianism and Authoritarianism
The British Study of Politics in the Twentieth Century

Archie Brown

British Academy

The rise of totalitarian regimes in Russia, Germany, and Italy between the two world wars preceded the professionalization of the study of politics. The political experience of recent decades suggests that where authoritarian regimes have given way to democratic systems in which politicians can be held accountable and where a rule of law prevails, there is little likelihood of a return to authoritarianism, least of all in the form of Communism or fascism. It is easier to continue to deny political liberties to people who have never experienced them than to remove freedoms to which citizens have quickly become accustomed. Whether the world’s first Communist state, Russia, will succeed in breaking decisively with its authoritarian past remains one of the most momentous of all the unresolved puzzles. It is one question among many likely to keep British students of politics busy into the twenty-first century.

Keywords:   totalitarian regimes, Communist systems, authoritarian rule, Russia, fascism, British politics

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