This chapter reviews the literature on socialist internationalism and the Socialist International and makes the case for re-evaluating the subject in light of the conceptual innovations of recent historiography. It argues for studying the international socialist movement as a peculiar transnational political network, challenging the methodological nationalism and national exceptionalism in the traditional historiography of European social democracy. Some hypothetical ways through which transnational transfers and contacts influenced the development of national parties are described, including negotiations to achieve a stringent definition of democratic socialism, regular contacts and exchange of views, the attraction of the British Labour Party as a model, and the generational turnover. Specifically, the concept of ‘internationalisation of domestic quarrels’ is introduced to assess the relationship between factional struggle and international contacts. The research also embraces the approach of new political history to assess the role of language, culture and performance in high politics.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Ettore Costa
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent ScholarRomeItaly

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