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Revolution and World OrderThe Revolutionary State in International Society$
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David Armstrong

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198275282

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198275285.001.0001

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State and Class the Russian Revolution

State and Class the Russian Revolution

Chapter:
(p.112) 4 State and Class the Russian Revolution
Source:
Revolution and World Order
Author(s):

David Armstrong (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198275285.003.0005

International society in the nineteenth century witnessed the assertion of special rights for great powers and some strengthening of the Westphalian bases of international order in the Concert of Europe. The system collapsed with the First World War and faced its strongest challenge to date from the Russian Revolution. The ideological challenge of Marxism and the Russian Revolution stemmed from its claim that class was the motive force of history and that the Communist Party possessed a unique insight into the laws of history. However, revolutionary internationalism in Soviet foreign policy was soon accompanied by more cautious policies, amounting to a partial socialization. This process reached a peak under Mikhail Gorbachev who brought to a crisis point the central paradox of the Soviet state: that its legitimacy rested upon its claim to be the ‘socialist fatherland’ but it could not avoid an identity as an orthodox state.

Keywords:   Communism, Concert of Europe, First World War, foreign policy, Mikhail Gorbachev, internationalism, Marxism, Russian Revolution, socialization, Soviet Union

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