Philosophies of Internationalism

To better understand the nature of Welsh Internationalism and its evolution over successive generations, it is instructive to understand the range of political philosophies that sit behind ‘internationalism’ as a concept; and to define the language of internationalism. It is also useful to consider how different world outlooks relate to each other on a continuum of political ideas and beliefs.


“Internationalism (n) – the advocacy of cooperation and understanding between nations.”

“Internationalist – a person who believes that countries should work together in a friendly way

Oxford Reference


“The philosophical idea that human beings have equal moral and political obligations to each other based solely on their humanity, without reference to state citizenship, national identity, religious affiliation, ethnicity, or place of birth. From ancient Greek ‘citizen of the world’.”

Oxford Reference

“A mode or ‘way’ of being in the world commensurate with the condition of *globalization, characterized by a high level of mutual respect for the rights of others and a generalized tolerance of ethnic, cultural, political and national differences”

Dictionary of Critical Theory

Liberal Internationalism

Many of the founders of Wales’ Temple of Peace self-identified as leading thinkers from the Welsh Liberal tradition, as Liberal Internationalists.

International Socialism

The La`bour movement from its earliest years recognised workers unite . Distinction is often. made within the Labour movement, between International Socialism as a Marxist Communist ideology, and more centre-ground democratic socialism.

  • International Socialism – Wikipedia.
  • Socialist International is the third world body uniting political parties committed to democratic socialism worldwide. “the perception of all communist revolutions as being part of a single global class struggle rather than separate localized events; based on the theory that capitalism is a world-system and therefore the working classes of all nations must act in concert.”
  • The doctrine that socialism ought to come by international revolution. Marx and Engels called for ‘Workers of all countries’ to ‘unite!’ in 1848.
  • The International Working Men’s Association (First International) was founded by Marx in 1864 and dissolved in 1876 when he moved its headquarters to New York in order to prevent it falling into the hands of his opponents.
  • The Second International was founded in 1889. It embraced both Marxists and non‐Marxist socialists, but fell apart in 1914 when the majority of the socialists in all the combatant countries in the First World War embraced their country’s war effort.
  • The Third (communist) International was founded in 1919 and dissolved in 1943.
  • Official doctrine in the Soviet Union promoted international socialism at some times, and socialism in one country at others, according to the perceived needs of the USSR.
  • Trotskyists founded a rival ‘Fourth International’. Groups calling themselves International Socialists in capitals are therefore Trotskyist.

‘Nationalist’ Internationalism

In Wales, Plaid Cymru has always proclaimed itself a proudly internationalist party.

Exploring ‘Internationalism in the Age of Nationslism‘, Glenda Sluga (2013) documents how

Journal of Modern History review





Political Continuum

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