Imperialism and the Communist International

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Fredrik Petersson
Publisher: Wiley Periodicals
Publication year: 2017
Journal: Journal of Labor and Society
Volume number: 20
Issue number: 1
Start page: 23
End page: 42


The article charts and discuss the historical use of the concept of imperialism in the Communist International
(Comintern; Third International, 1919–43). By analyzing first, the establishment and framework of the
Comintern’s understanding and use of imperialism as a political and instrumental tool, the aim of the article
is to look beyond the official and sanctioned policy of the Comintern on imperialism between the wars. In
doing so, the author examines and discuss internal discussions as they evolved over time at Comintern
headquarters in Moscow by analyzing documents filed in the Comintern Archive (RGASPI) in Moscow. Key
concepts focus on the Leninist perception of imperialism; the periodization debate, and contextual
explanations linked to the frequent policy shifts of the Comintern and its relation to Bolshevization and
Stalinization. In conclusion, the article highlights the historical trajectory of imperialism and anti-
imperialism as a constituent source of Bolshevik policy making in its interpretation of global society.

Last updated on 2020-08-08 at 07:36