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The British International Brigades as Labour Party dissidents

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This article re-examines how and why the Labour Party supported non-intervention in the Spanish Civil War from July 1936 until late 1937. It suggests that previous studies underestimated the role of domestic politics and the Labour Party leadership’s hostility to a rapprochement with the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) in the formation of Labour Party’s Spanish policy. It contrasts the Labour Party’s non-intervention with the individual intervention of the British International Brigades under the collective leadership of the CPGB. The article conceptualizes brigaders as dissidents of official Labour Party policy, though not of rank-and-file sentiment.

Keywords: Communist Party of Great Britain; International Brigades; Labour Party; Spanish Civil War; anti-fascism

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/ijis.18.1.3/1

Affiliations: London School of Economics

Publication date: August 18, 2005

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Iberian Studies (IJIS) is the academic journal for scholars from around the world whose research focuses on contemporary Spain and Portugal from a range of disciplinary perspectives. IJIS is interested in history (20th century onwards), government and politics; foreign policy and international relations.
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