Editorial: Transnational communism and anti-colonialism

Spring 2020

The relationship between international communism, the national communist parties, and anti-colonial political movements is a subject which has drawn heated debates both amongst activists and historians. This professed anti-imperialism attracted new recruits in the non-European world, enabling the organisation to begin to break out of the European and North American strongholds which had been basis of prior social-democratic internationalism. Within the metropoles, racialised outsiders entered party ranks determined to turn the propounded anti-colonial ideals into a political reality. Connections were forged between labour movement activists and anti-colonialists, and between different colonial nationalist campaigners. This issue of Twentieth Century Communism features a selection of papers presented at a symposium at the University of Manchester, UK in November 2018. The symposium considered new trends in the history of communist anti-colonialism and internationalism in the twentieth century. ‘Within and Against the Metropole’ drew together scholars and activists from the US, Europe and the UK.

Twentieth Century Communism 18 cover