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Reconciling nation and class in imperial borderlands: the making of Bolshevik internationalists Karl Radek and Feliks Dzierzynski in east central Europe

Riga, Liliana (2006) Reconciling nation and class in imperial borderlands: the making of Bolshevik internationalists Karl Radek and Feliks Dzierzynski in east central Europe. Journal of Historical Sociology, 19 (4). pp. 447-472. ISSN 0952-1909

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Abstract

This article interprets the biographies of Polish Bolshevik revolutionaries, Feliks Dzierżyński and Karl Radek, in an attempt to concretize socialism's 'nationalities problem' in two exceptional, but emblematic, identities of the fin-de-siècle socialist movement. It situates their internationalism against the sociology of nationalism in multiethnic imperial borderlands. It argues that the appeal of socialist internationalism was contingent on the strength of nationalism: where nationalism was more politically articulate it undermined universalist ideologies. Therefore as socialism succeeded in transcending ethnonational boundaries only in the Tsarist Russian 'fourth time zone', Radek and Dzierżyński traveled eastwards from Polish nationalism to Bolshevik internationalism.