Socialist International

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Group.png Socialist International
Socialist International Congress 1983 (left to right) Mário Soares, Bernt Carlsson, Shimon Peres, Willy Brandt and Pentti Väänänen
Abbreviation SI
Headquarters Maritime House, Old Town, Clapham
Leader President of The Socialist International
Wikipedia page Socialist International

The Socialist International (SI) is a worldwide association of political parties which seek to establish democratic socialism.[1] It consists of Democratic Socialist, Social Democratic and Labour political parties and other organisations.

Although formed in 1951 as a successor to the Labour and Socialist International it has antecedents to the late 19th Century. Initially dominated by parties from Western Europe, it has grown to include more than 160 member parties from more than 100 countries. Its members have governed in many countries including most of Europe.

The Party of European Socialists is an associated organisation of the Socialist International, as is its European parliamentary group, the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats.

The current SI Secretary-General is Luis Ayala (Chile), who has held the post since 1989. Prior to Ayala, Pentti Väänänen of Finland (1983-1989) and Bernt Carlsson of Sweden (1976-1983) held the post of Secretary-General.[2]

The current SI President is the former Prime Minister of Greece, George Papandreou. Among the sixteeen Honorary Presidents of the Socialist International is former Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock.[3]


Bernt Carlsson's Memorial in Dryfesdale Cemetery "In remembrance of a dedicated internationalist and a committed social democrat on the tenth anniversary of the sad loss of Bernt Carlsson (1938-1988), Secretary-General of the Socialist International (1976-1983), distinguished in his service to Sweden, the international community and the United Nations until his untimely death on flight Pan Am 103."

The International Workingmen's Association (the First International) was the first international body to bring together organisations representing the working class. It was formed in London on 28 September 1864 by socialist, communist and anarchist political groups and trade unions. Tensions between moderates and revolutionaries led to its dissolution in 1876 in Philadelphia. The Second International was formed in Paris on 14 July 1889 as an association of the socialist parties. Differences over World War I led to the Second International being dissolved in 1916.

The International Socialist Commission (ISC, also known as Berne International) was formed in February 1919 at a meeting in Berne by parties that wanted to resurrect the Second International. In March 1919 communist parties formed Comintern (the Third International) at a meeting in Moscow. Parties which did not want to be a part of the resurrected Second International (ISC) or Comintern formed the International Working Union of Socialist Parties (IWUSP, also known as Vienna International/Vienna Union/Two-and-a-Half International) on 27 February 1921 at a conference in Vienna. The ISC and the IWUSP joined to form the Labour and Socialist International (LSI) in May 1923 at a meeting in Hamburg. The rise of Nazism and the start of World War II led to the dissolution of the LSI in 1940. The Socialist International was formed in Frankfurt in July 1951 as a successor to the LSI.

During the post-World War II period, the SI aided social democratic parties in re-establishing themselves when dictatorship gave way to democracy in Portugal (1974) and Spain (1975). Until its 1976 Geneva Congress, the SI had few members outside Europe and no formal involvement with Latin America.[4] In the 1980s, most SI parties gave their backing to the Sandinista National Liberation Front in Nicaragua (FSLN), whose left-wing government had incited enmity from the United States.

In the late 1970s and in the 1980s the Socialist International had extensive contacts and discussion with the two leading powers of the Cold War period, the United States and the Soviet Union, on issues concerning East-West relations and arms control. The SI supported détente and disarmament agreements, such as SALT II, START I and Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). They had several meetings and discussions in Washington, D.C. with President Jimmy Carter and Vice President George H W Bush and in Moscow with General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Leonid Brezhnev and Mikhail Gorbachev. The SI's delegations to these discussions were led by the Prime Minister of Finland Kalevi Sorsa.[5]

Since then, the Socialist International has admitted as member parties not only the FSLN but also the left-wing Puerto Rican Independence Party, as well as former Communist parties such as the Democratic Party of the Left of Italy and the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO).

Following the Tunisian revolution, the Constitutional Democratic Rally was expelled from the SI in January 2011. Later that month, the Egyptian National Democratic Party was also expelled. As a result of the 2010–2011 Ivorian crisis, the Ivorian Popular Front was expelled in March 2011. However, according to section 5.1.3 of the statutes of the Socialist International, an expulsion requires a decision of Congress by a majority of two-thirds.[6]

On 22 May 2013, the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) along with other social-democratic political parties founded a rival organisation to the Socialist International known as the Progressive Alliance, out of criticism of the perceived corrupt and outmoded nature of the SI.[7][8][9][10]


  • Morgan Phillips, Great Britain (1951-1957)
  • Alsing Andersen, Denmark (1957-1962)
  • Erich Ollenhauer, West Germany (1963)
  • Bruno Pittermann, Austria (1964-1976)
  • Willy Brandt, West Germany (1976-1992)
  • Pierre Mauroy, France (1992-1999)
  • António Guterres, Portugal 1999-2005
  • George Papandreou, Greece (2006–present)

Honorary Presidents

  • Pierre Mauroy, former president of the SI
  • Aung San Suu Kyi, special honorary president
  • Ruben Berrios, Puerto Rico
  • Philippe Busquin, Belgium
  • Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, Mexico
  • Mohamed El Yazghi, Morocco
  • Alan García, Peru
  • Anita Gradin, Sweden
  • Elazar Granot, Israel
  • Anker Jørgensen, Denmark
  • Lionel Jospin, France
  • Neil Kinnock, Great Britain
  • Enrique Silva Cimma, Chile
  • Mário Soares, Portugal
  • Hans-Jochen Vogel, Germany
  • Mustapha Ben Jaafar, Tunisia


  • Julius Braunthal, Austria (1951-1956)
  • Bjarne Braatoy, Norway (1956-1957)
  • Albert Carthy, Great Britain (1957-1969)
  • Hans Janitschek, Austria (1969-1976)
  • Bernt Carlsson, Sweden (1976-1983)
  • Pentti Väänänen, Finland (1983-1989)
  • Luis Ayala, Chile (1989-present)



  • I Frankfurt 1951
  • II Milan 1952
  • III Stockholm 1953
  • IV London 1955
  • V Vienna 1957
  • VI Hamburg 1959
  • VII Rome 1961
  • VIII Amsterdam 1963
  • IX Brussels 1964
  • X Stockholm 1966
  • XI Eastbourne 1969
  • XII Vienna 1972
  • XIII Geneva 1976
  • XIV Vancouver 1978
  • XV Madrid 1980
  • XVI Albufeira 1983
  • XVII Lima 1986
  • XVIII Stockholm 1989
  • XIX Berlin 1992
  • XX New York City 1996
  • XXI Paris 1999
  • XXII São Paulo 2003
  • XXIII Athens 2008
  • XXIV Cape Town 2012


Full members

The following parties are full members:

  • Albania Socialist Party of Albania, SPA
  • Algeria Socialist Forces Front, FFS
  • Andorra Social Democratic Party of Andorra, PS
  • Angola MPLA
  • Argentina Socialist Party, PS
  • Argentina Radical Civic Union, UCR
  • Armenia ARF Armenian Socialist Party
  • Aruba People's Electoral Movement, MEP
  • Australia Australian Labor Party, ALP
  • Austria Social Democratic Party of Austria, SPÖ
  • Belgium Socialist Party, PS
  • Belgium Socialist Party, SPA
  • Benin Social Democratic Party, PSD
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina Social Democratic Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina, SDP BiH
  • Brazil Democratic Labour Party, PDT
  • Bulgaria Bulgarian Social Democrats, PBSD
  • Bulgaria Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP
  • Cameroon Social Democratic Front, SDF
  • Canada New Democratic Party, NDP/NPD
  • Cape Verde African Party of Cape Verde's Independence, PAICV
  • Chile Party for Democracy, PPD
  • Chile Radical Social Democratic Party, PRSD
  • Chile Socialist Party of Chile, PS
  • Colombia Liberal Party of Colombia, PLC
  • Costa Rica National Liberation Party, PLN
  • Croatia Social Democratic Party, SDP
  • Curaçao MAN
  • Cyprus Movement of Social Democrats EDEK
  • Czech Republic Czech Social Democratic Party, CSSD
  • Denmark Social Democratic Party
  • Dominican Republic Dominican Revolutionary Party, PRD
  • Ecuador Democratic Left Party, PID
  • Equatorial Guinea Convergence for Social Democracy, CPDS
  • Finland Finnish Social Democratic Party, SDP
  • France Socialist Party, PS
  • Germany Social Democratic Party of Germany, SPD
  • Ghana National Democratic Congress
  • Greece Panhellenic Socialist Movement, PASOK
  • Guatemala National Union for Hope, UNE
  • Guinea Guinean People's Assembly, RPG
  • Haiti Union of Haitian Social Democrats
  • Hungary Hungarian Social Democratic Party, MSzDP
  • Hungary Hungarian Socialist Party, MSzP
  • Iceland Social Democratic Alliance of Iceland
  • Iraq Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, PUK
  • Ireland The Labour Party
  • Israel Israel Labour Party
  • Israel Meretz Party
  • Italy Italian Socialist Party, PSI
  • Jamaica People's National Party, PNP
  • Japan Social Democratic Party, SDP
  • Lebanon Progressive Socialist Party, PSP
  • Lithuania Lithuanian Social Democratic Party, LSDP
  • Luxembourg Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party, LSAP/POSL
  • Malaysia Democratic Action Party, DAP
  • Mali African Party for Solidarity and Justice, ADEMA-PASJ
  • Mali Assembly for Mali, RPM
  • Mauritania Assembly of Democratic Forces, RFD
  • Mauritius Mauritius Labour Party
  • Mauritius Mauritius Militant Movement, MMM
  • Mexico Party of Democratic Revolution, PRD
  • Mexico Institutional Revolutionary Party, PRI
  • Republic of Moldova Democratic Party, PDM
  • Mongolia Mongolian People's Party, MPP
  • Montenegro Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro, DPS
  • Montenegro Social Democratic Party of Montenegro, SDP
  • Morocco Socialist Union of Popular Forces, USFP
  • Mozambique Frelimo Party
  • Namibia SWAPO
  • Nepal Nepali Congress Party
  • Nicaragua Sandinista National Liberation Front, FSLN
  • Niger Party for Democracy and Socialism of Niger, PNDS
  • Northern Ireland Social Democratic and Labour Party, SDLP
  • Pakistan Pakistan People's Party, PPP
  • Palestine Fatah
  • Panama Democratic Revolutionary Party, PRD
  • Paraguay 'País Solidario' Party
  • Peru Peruvian Aprista Party, PAP
  • Poland Democratic Left Alliance, SLD
  • Portugal Socialist Party, PS
  • Puerto Rico Puerto Rican Independence Party, PIP
  • Romania Social Democratic Party, PSD
  • Russian Federation A Just Russia Party
  • San Marino Party of Socialists and Democrats
  • Senegal Socialist Party, PS
  • Serbia Democratic Party, DS
  • Slovakia SMER-Social Democracy
  • South Africa African National Congress, ANC
  • Spain Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, PSOE
  • Sweden Swedish Social Democratic Party, SAP
  • Switzerland Social Democratic Party of Switzerland
  • Tanzania Chama Cha Mapinduzi, CCM
  • Tunisia Democratic Forum for Labour and Freedoms, FDTL
  • Turkey Republican People's Party, CHP
  • Uruguay New Space, PNE
  • Uruguay Socialist Party of Uruguay, PSU
  • USA Democratic Socialists of America, DSA
  • Venezuela Democratic Action, AD
  • Venezuela Movement for Socialism, MAS
  • Yemen Yemeni Socialist Party
  • Zimbabwe Movement for Democratic Change, MDC

Other Members

Consultative parties, Observer parties, Fraternal organisations and Associated organisations are listed on the Socialist International website.[12]


  1. "Statutes of the Socialist International"
  2. "Flight 103: it was the Uranium"
  3. "Socialist International"
  4. The Dictionary of Contemporary Politics of South America, Routledge, 1989
  5. Väänänen, Pentti "Purppuraruusu ja samettinyrkki", language Finnish, publisher Kellastupa, pages 192–194, ISBN 9789525787115
  6. "SI Statutes"
  7. Bruderzwist unter Sozialisten - Politik - Sü Retrieved on 2013-07-15.
  8. "Progressive Alliance: Sozialdemokraten gründen weltweites Netzwerk - SPIEGEL ONLINE. (2013-05-22). Retrieved on 2013-07-15.
  9. Sozialdemokratie: Progressive Alliance gegründet - Politik. FAZ. Retrieved on 2013-07-15.
  10. Sozialistische Internationale hat ausgedient: SPD gründet "Progressive Alliance". Retrieved on 2013-07-15.
  11. "SI Presidents and Secretaries-General"
  12. SI Members and Associates

Further reading

  • Julius Braunthal, "The Rebirth of Social Democracy," Foreign Affairs, vol. 27, no. 4 (July 1949), pp. 586–600. In JSTOR

External links

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