Published by Crackers Books, 23 January 2024

Deep State

Deep State: A Concise Overview

  1. Ambiguous and Multifaceted Concept: The term "Deep State" is used to describe a form of governance involving hidden or covert networks within government institutions, particularly those in the military or intelligence services, which exert control over public policy, often independently of the official political leadership (O’Neil, 2015)(O’Neil, 2015).
  2. Global Application with Varied Interpretations: While the concept originated in the context of Turkey, it has been applied globally to understand the dynamics of power in various countries. These interpretations consider how deep state elements within governments can impact democratic processes and political stability (Mérieau, 2016)(Mérieau, 2016).
  3. Challenges to Democracy and Transparency: The deep state is often viewed as an obstacle to democratic governance, functioning outside the conventional democratic framework and potentially influencing policy making without transparency or accountability (Garnier-Salvi, 2017)(Garnier-Salvi, 2017).
  4. Beyond Military and Intelligence Sectors: The influence of the deep state extends beyond just military and intelligence sectors, affecting various parts of government including civil institutions and the judicial system. This interplay of power within state institutions adds to the complexity of the deep state concept (Burchill, 2020)(Burchill, 2020).
  5. Contemporary Political Discourse: The concept has gained contemporary relevance, especially in the context of American politics during the Trump administration. It reflects broader tensions between bureaucracy and populist political movements, challenging traditional notions of state power and governance (Horwitz, 2021)(Horwitz, 2021).


The Deep State concept, although often shrouded in ambiguity and controversy, plays a significant role in the discourse of political power and governance. It highlights the existence of influential networks within state structures that may operate beyond democratic oversight, challenging conventional understandings of political authority and transparency in both national and international contexts.


  1. Burchill, S. (2020). Is There a Deep State? Link.
  2. Garnier-Salvi, V. (2017). Is the Deep State the main obstacle to the Nahda. Link.
  3. Horwitz, R. (2021). Trump and the “deep state”. Policy Studies, 42(5), 473-490. Link.
  4. Mérieau, E. (2016). Thailand’s Deep State, Royal Power and the Constitutional Court (1997–2015). Journal of Contemporary Asia, 46(3), 445-466. Link.
  5. O’Neil, P. H. (2015). The Deep State: An Emerging Concept in Comparative Politics. Link.

Recommended Citation

Crackers Books. (2024, January 23). Deep State: A Concise Overview [Crackers Basics]. Retrieved from

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