Terror, Force and States offers a new theoretical explanation of the nature and causes of terror states.
The theory is developed through a critical examination of the works of Bauman, Weber, Arendt, Friedrich and Brzezinski, as well as through detailed case studies of terror regimes including Nazi Germany, Stalin's Russia and Pol Pot's Cambodia.
The view of force as a form of power is rejected by Rosemary O'Kane who carefully distinguishes between repressive and terror governments and, crucially, between totalitarian dictatorships and totalitarian regimes.
The lessons drawn suggest that the Holocaust and modern genocide are not intrinsically related to modernity. Terror regimes, she argues, operate not through the state but from behind a state facade within a secret society. Economic crisis is given prominence in their explanation with the decisive explanatory factor argued to be the move from plans to substantive irrationality. Indeed it is the economic rationality of modern society, most particularly in respect of labour markets, which acts as the barrier to terror's rule.
All those with an interest in politics, sociology, history and Holocaust and genocide studies will welcome this important book which generates a new theory of terror states.