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WHELEHAN, Niall. "Rethinking Radicalism. A Comparative Study of Anarchism in Exile: Peter Kropotkin vs. Luigi Galleani, 1886-1920."
Article published on 28 December 2004

by r-c.
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M. Litt. Dissertation, National University of Ireland, Galway. Supervisors: Dr. Enrico Dal Lago, Dr. Barry Pateman, 15th September 2004.


This thesis – “Rethinking Radicalism” – is a comparative investigation of anarchism as a transnational movement during the period 1886-1920. The major determinants of anarchist philosophy and propaganda are assessed in both their national and international contexts. In particular, the thought and activities of the historical figures of Peter Kropotkin – a Russian anarchist exiled in Britain – and Luigi Galleani – an Italian anarchist exiled in the United States – are analysed.

Kropotkin’s and Galleani’s versions of anarchism emerged from the national radical traditions of Russia and Italy; yet, aspects of these traditions became subject to a variety of influences during the terms of exile. Through focusing on specific comparative themes, the important dividing line between anarchist theory and practice is examined. Substantial differences occurred in the versions of anarchism adopted by Kropotkin and Galleani during their terms of exile that show how the term ‘anarchism’ functioned as an umbrella term for wide range of approaches between 1886 and 1920. This comparative study aims to disentangle and clarify several different approaches that characterised anarchism and illuminate the causal factors behind them.

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