The Communist Movement in the Arab World

By Tareq Y. Ismael | Go to book overview
Save to active project


Although the specific experience of communist parties in the Arab world has varied from country to country, a certain common evolution underlies their individual histories. The key to this commonality lies in the two powerful, and often contradictory, forces which have shaped a distinctly “Arab” communism: the Soviet-dominated world communist movement, and cultural, economic, and political conditions in the Arab world.

With the exception of the Sudanese Communist Party, all the major communist parties in the Arab world were founded under the aegis of the Comintern. All looked to a world communist movement dominated by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) for political and ideological leadership and material support. With this acceptance of the Soviet orthodoxy came an uncritical acceptance of the canons of Soviet Marxism-Leninism-Stalinism and a concomitant failure to formulate independent social analyses of the specific conditions within the Arab world.

However, as Soviet support and control over Arab communist parties began to weaken following the death of Stalin, the Arab communist movement was forced to attune itself to local circumstances and sensitivities. It was by means of this process, through the interaction of forces of conformity and adaptation, that a distinctive Arab communist discourse was born. However, this does not mean that, at the movement's inception, Arab communists were merely an appendage to the Soviet Union or the Comintern. Rather, communism in the Arab world developed as an approach to post-colonial liberation in which local issues interacted with a theoretical framework in an attempt to explain these Arab social, economic, and political realities. Nevertheless, despite the attempts by Arab communist parties to adapt to local issues, the harsh treatment and oppression by regional governments eventually led to a virtually complete dependence on the CPSU. As a result, local and regional issues, along with Marxist-Leninist theory, became secondary to Soviet global policy and the destinies of Arab communist parties became intertwined with the fortunes of the Soviet Union. Despite this dependence, however, they had a profound impact upon the political discourses in the region and all domestic political entities were forced to address the issues raised by the


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Communist Movement in the Arab World


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 209

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?