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Scots and the Spanish Civil WarSolidarity, Activism and Humanitarianism$
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Fraser Raeburn

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474459471

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474459471.001.0001

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Thinking and Acting

Thinking and Acting

(p.63) 3 Thinking and Acting
Scots and the Spanish Civil War

Fraser Raeburn

Edinburgh University Press

The motives of foreigners who fought in the Spanish Civil War has long fascinated historians. While recent work has been able to explore the complexities of individual motivation, efforts to explain the scale of mobilisation still hinge on the anti-fascist beliefs of the volunteers. As well as exploring new ways of understanding the nature of volunteers’ anti-fascist beliefs, this chapter seeks to adapt and expand these frameworks, arguing that the best explanation for the scale of these mobilisations lies at the intersection of local and transnational communist political cultures. Not only did the belief systems of interwar communism lend themselves to these kinds of mobilisations, the nature of the recruitment process led to social as well as political impetus towards enlisting, leading to the dense recruitment among certain social-political networks observed in the previous chapter. This, it is suggested, offers a model for understanding the key pre-requisites for large-scale foreign fighter mobilisations.

Keywords:   International Brigades, Anti-fascism, Communism, Political culture, Transnationalism, Networks, Recruitment, Motivation, Foreign fighters

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