‘Westpolitik’. Eurocommunism, and the Evolution of the Western European Communists’ Positions toward European Integration
‘Westpolitik’: Eurocommunism, and the Evolution of the Western European Communists’ Positions toward European Integration
Professor, University of Arkansas
Eurocommunism was founded on a certain idea of European “exceptionalism.” It aimed at aggregating the Western Communist Parties and inspiring a Europe that would be, in the words of Enrico Berlinguer, secretary of the Italian Communist Party (PCI), “neither anti-Soviet nor anti-American.” Proposing a “dynamic” interpretation of détente, the Eurocommunists advocated a gradual end to the Cold War divide in Europe. By seeking a connection with Western Socialism based on democratic principles, they asserted a social project that would find a “third way” between social democracy and Soviet Communism, accepting pluralist democracy while rejecting consumerist capitalism, thus contributing to a European “third force” that would truly distinguish itself from the two superpowers not only as a diplomatic actor, but also in its social construct. This sort of “exceptionalism” within the West, briefly endorsed by the French and Spanish Communists (PCF and PCE) – and never too convincingly by the French comrades – clashed with Communist orthodoxy, from the Soviet sphere, as well as from most Communist parties within the West; it was also opposed by most other political forces in Western Europe, and by the United States, which consistently worked on maintaining European integration under a transatlantic framework. At the same time, most US officials upheld their own notions of American exceptionalism, which, under the prevailing interpretations of either the realist Henry Kissinger, or the...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.