All European Communist parties define themselves largely in terms of their relationship, amicable or not, to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Consequently, most studies of relations between Communist parties emphasize interactions with the Soviets. However, not all the smaller European Communist parties interact strictly through the medium of Moscow. There exists an extensive, genuinely bilateral aspect to the relationship between Italian and Yugoslav Communists. Both have tended to seek distinctively national paths and, to differing degrees, both have been at odds with the Soviets. The history of Italo-Yugoslav nationality and border disputes, as well as major differences in how the two Communist parties have approached those disputes, has done much to condition inter-party relations.
is the first book to focus on relations between Communist parties in adjacent countries. As such, it offers insights, both practical and theoretical, into problems of inter-party relations. Based on archival sources, as well as on published materials, it also contributes to the individual historiographies of the Italian and Yugoslav Communist parties. The study speaks to several issues in comparative Communist studies, contrasting the different ways in which the two parties have adapted to national circumstances, balancing nationalism and internationalism, and to their different leadership styles.