Voting for Hitler and Stalin

Elections under 20th Century Dictatorships

Edited by Ralph Jessen and Hedwig Richter

Edited by Ralph Jessen and Hedwig Richter

Distributed for Campus Verlag

349 pages | 3 halftones, 7 tables | 5 1/2 x 8 3/8 | © 2011
Paper $54.00 ISBN: 9783593394893 Published February 2012

Dictatorships throughout the twentieth century—including Mussolini’s Italy, the Third Reich, the Soviet Union, Poland, and East Germany—held elections. But were they more than rituals of participation without the slightest effect on the distribution of power? Why did political regimes radically opposed to liberal democracy feel the need to imitate their enemies? Offering significant insights into absolutist state governance, Voting for Hitler and Stalin thoroughly investigates the remarkable, paradoxical phenomenon of dictatorial elections, revealing the many ways they transcended mere propaganda.

Contents
Introduction: Non-Competitive Elections in 20th Century Dictatorships: Some Questions and General Considerations
      Ralph Jessen and Hedwig Richter

I. Legitimacy
The Self-Staging of a Plebiscitary Dictatorship: The NS-Regime Between "Uniformed Reichstag", Referendum and Reichsparteitag
      Markus Urban
Popular Sovereignty and Constitutional Rights in the USSR's Supreme Soviet Elections of February 1946
      Mark B. Smith
Integration, Celebration, and Challenge: Soviet Youth and Elections, 1953–1968
      Gleb Tsipursky
Mass Obedience: Practices and Functions of Elections in the German Democratic Republic
      Hedwig Richter
Elections in Modern Dictatorships: Some Analytical Considerations
      Werner J. Patzelt
II. Discipline
The Great Soviet Paradox: Elections and Terror in the Unions, 1937–1938
      Wendy Z. Goldman
Plebiscites in Fascist Italy: National Unity and the Importance of the Appearance of Unity
      Paul Corner
Works Council Elections in Czechoslovakia, 1948-1968
      Peter Heumos
Faking It: Neo-Soviet Electoral Politics in Central Asia
      Donnacha Ó Beacháin
III. Dissent and Loyalty
Elections, Plebiscitary Elections, and Plebiscites in Fascist Italy and Nazi-Germany: Comparative Perspectives
      Enzo Fimiani
"Germany Totally National Socialist"—National Socialist Reichstag Elections and Plebiscites, 1933–1938: The Example of Schleswig-Holstein
      Frank Omland
Elections in the Soviet Union, 1937–1989: A View into a Paternalistic World from Below
      Stephan Merl
"The People's Voice": The Elections to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR in 1958 in the Belarusian Capital Minsk 
      Thomas M. Bohn

Contributors
Index
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