This book provides a comparative and historical analysis of totalitarianism and considers why Spain became totalitarian during its inquisition but not France; and why Germany became totalitarian during the previous century, but not Sweden. The author pushes the concept of totalitarianism back into the pre-modern period and challenges Hannah Arendt’s notion of the banality of evil. Instead, he presents an alternative framework that can explain why some states become totalitarian and why they induce people to commit evil acts.
Steven Saxonberg is a professor in the Institute of European Studies, Faculty of Social Studies, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia, and the Institute of Public Policy and Social Work, Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. He did research for this book while at the Centre for Social and Economic Strategies, Charles University in Prague.