The Discreet Charm of the Police State
Jose Raymund Canoy, University of Oklahoma
This book examines the relationship between authoritarian policing and the modernization of postwar Germany’s largest state in a passage from postwar crisis to consumer prosperity. Early in this transition, pre-Nazi (but also pre-liberal-democratic) authoritarian police traditions reemerged to meet the challenges of public order in the U.S. occupation. Authoritarian policing then helped define the evolving relationship between society and state during the economic miracle of the 1950s. However, this regime’s success in midwifing a new, post-agricultural society led to its obsolescence and disappearance by the mid-1960s. This story highlights the role of state authoritarianism in the emergence of prosperous post-ideological societies during the later twentieth century.