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date: 26 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter investigates the relations between the various communist states, particularly the USSR, the East European countries, and the Asian communist regimes, from the perspective of empire studies. It seeks to refine the concept of ‘totalitarian empire’ by making brief comparisons between communist and fascist practices of domination, and argues that the relations between the various communist states were considerably influenced both by internationalist and nationalist conceptions, which did not appear as mutually exclusive forces. A peculiar feature of communist imperial policies was that the dominant powers selected the (nominally) sovereign nation-state as the basic unit of their ‘outer empires’, rather than simply annexing the occupied countries or creating semi-sovereign structures.

Keywords: communism, empire, nationalism, internationalism, nation-state, sovereignty

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