The module examines policies and practices of political repression in the modern world. The concept of repression is analysed theoretically and through examples from Greek and international practices. The following case studies are examined: the Nazi concentration camps and the roots of Nazi violence, repressive measures in Malaysia (1948-1960) and Indonesia (1965), political repression in liberal democracy, “white cells” and anti-terrorism legislation and “open” concentration camps (Batustan and Gaza). In this context, the historiographical debate on concentration camps in the Soviet Union is also presented. With regard to the Greek case, the repressive measures of the civil war and the post- civil war state are analysed through the study of the legislation and the prevailing practices.
The module then focuses on the concept of torture. Following a brief historical review of the practice of torture (Algeria, Chile, Argentina) issues of definition and separation of torture from other forms of inhuman and cruel treatment are examined. Efforts to legalise torture, models of the use of torture (Iraq and Guantánamo) and secret detentions and emergency transfers after 11 September are also examined.
In addition, modern criminal policies and the legislation of the exception in the context of judicial repression are also examined, as well as prison policy and policies for the privatisation and commercialisation of security (private prisons) and the extension of social control. Finally, the module examines briefly issues concerning the censorship and the repression of the media.