Nationalism and Socialist Internationalism

John Schwarzmantel

in The Oxford Handbook of the History of Nationalism

Published in print March 2013 | ISBN: 9780199209194
Published online May 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

Nationalism and Socialist Internationalism


This chapter discusses the relationship between nationalism and socialist internationalism. The latter is presented as historically the main challenger to nationalism. The chapter discusses the ways in which nationalism and socialist internationalism have each been changed through their reciprocal reaction. Socialists had to operate within the context of the nation-state, and the implications of this framework of the nation-state for socialist internationalism are assessed. Marxist perspectives on the nation and on socialist internationalism are examined, with the focus on the Second International (1889–1914) and the Third International or Comintern (1919–1943). The chapter deals with Austro-Marxist views of the working-class in its relationship to the nation, comparing these with perspectives of Leninism. The year 1914 and the collapse of Communism in 1991 are seen as crucial periods in the history of socialist internationalism. The chapter concludes with a brief assessment of the continuing significance of internationalism in present-day politics.

Keywords: Austro-Marxism; Comintern; communism; internationalism; labour movement; Leninism; Marxism; revolution; socialism; working-class

Article.  9965 words. 

Subjects: History ; International History

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