Cover Osteuropa 8/2014

In Osteuropa 8/2014

Identity and Power
When and Why Repression is Accepted

Bernd Simon

Deutsche Fassung


In social psychology, power was usually described as a dependency relationship, as control over certain resources on which others depend. This approach, however, does not explain the causes of such a dependency. It is always based on a common identity and an associated consensus between the controllers and the controlled. This collective identity, which is what makes a meaningful social existence for the individual possible in the first place, motivates people to accept rule and repression. But collective identities also carry the seeds of resistance to power. The abuse of collective iden-tity, for example, in the form of broken promises, brings the political compe-tition into the arena.

(Osteuropa 8/2014, pp. 63–72)