‘Hij staat naast ons als onbaatzuchtig medestrijder’ | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 129, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163



Recent scholarship on the history of political parties has emphasized the need to research party culture, thereby focusing on the interaction between party leaders and their supporters. This article, however, claims that in order properly to understand party culture, due attention must be paid to the internal workings of political parties. Various case studies show how Henk Sneevliet led the Revolutionary Socialist Party in the Netherlands during the 1930s, revealing several mechanisms that strengthened his own role in the party while at the same time weakening the party organization. It is argued that the enduring support of core members within the party was central to the continuation of these mechanisms. The reason for this was not only political support for Henk Sneevliet, but also the fact that Sneevliet as a person embodied revolutionary values. The case study of Henk Sneevliet and the RSP therefore illustrates how party leadership, party organization, and party culture are interlinked.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Henk Sneevliet; Labour history; political culture; revolutionary socialism
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