The Traditional Police State

  • Brian Chapman
Part of the Key Concepts in Political Science book series (KCP)


The traditional police state in its highest form also involved the development and rationalization of the official police forces with which we associate the concept today. The Intellectual stimulus for the creation of the Polizeistaat came from the Prussian Cameralists, and the organizing genius for its. foundation from Frederick William and Frederick II of Prussia, but the most deliberate, sustained and systematic attempt to create a modern state apparatus based not only on the extensive use of police powers, but also on the use of police forces as the country’s supervisory censor, was made by Joseph II (1745–90) of Austria. It was he who saw the importance of public opinion. The concomitant need to control it led to the police becoming a unique state apparat with a general and overriding competence for the supervision of government. (Later, in his turn, Fouché, in post-revolutionary France, accepted this view and gave to the police a genuinely ideological raison d’être.)


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    Quoted in Padover.Google Scholar
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    See Epstein, pp. 87–92.Google Scholar
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    Ibid., p. 94.Google Scholar
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    Ibid., p. 88.Google Scholar
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    Padover, pp. 532–3.Google Scholar
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    Quoted in Lévy.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Pall Mall Press Ltd, London 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian Chapman
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ManchesterUK

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