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Which Socialism, Whose Détente?

Maud Bracke

Part III. The consequences internationalism after Czechoslovakia

Part III. The consequences internationalism after Czechoslovakia

Texte intégral

  • 1 “Praga é sola” Il manifesto, issue 4, August 1969.

“Prague is alone”1

1While in part II I discussed the immediate problems which the Czechoslovak crisis posed to the PCI and PCF, chapter seven deals with the solutions which both party leaderships proposed to these problems. The realignment of the two parties throughout late 1968 and 1969 led to the resetting of their internationalism, which included a renewed emphasis on certain aspects of it and the downplaying of others. These shifts were needed because of the strategic (in both cases), doctrinal (mainly in the case of the PCI) and organizational (mainly in the case of the PCF) problems connected to Soviet-aligned internationalism, which the Czechoslovak crisis had revealed. While in the case of the PCI internationalism was narrowed down to the strategic dimension, in the case of the PCF a historical view of internationalism came to prevail, involving all three dimensions of it. This took place in connection to the parties’ domestic strategy, to their domestic sources of legitimation, to the international position of their country, and within the margins of maneuver allowed by the conditions of their renewed relation to the world communist movement.

2The consequences of this resetting of internationalism into the 1970s will be discussed in chapter eight. In the first half of the 1970s, the conditions of European détente and of the political situation in Italy and France were such that the communist parties succeeded in reconciling their internationalism with a fairly advantageous domestic situation—although this was more so in the case of the PCI than of the PCF. The contradictions inherent in both parties’ internationalism became evident once more in the mid- 1970s, and through the Eurocommunist debate, in which both parties were involved. Once more the question of the upsetting of the European order seemed to be posed, and it became clear that the strategic problem that lay at the very heart of their continued alliance with the Soviet Union had remained unresolved.


1 “Praga é sola” Il manifesto, issue 4, August 1969.

© Central European University Press, 2007

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