International Socialist Bureau ISB

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

International Socialist Bureau (ISB)


the permanent executive and information organ of the Second International, established by a decision of the Paris Congress in September 1900. The ISB consisted of two delegates from each socialist party. The bureau met several times a year, and between sessions the Executive Committee of the Belgian Socialist Party supervised its work. The chairman of the ISB was E. Vandervelde and its secretary, C. Huysmans (from 1905), both leaders of the Belgian Social Democrats. In 1905, Lenin joined the ISB as the representative of the Central Committee of the RSDLP. From 1913, at Lenin’s suggestion, the Central Committee of the RSDLP was represented by M. M. Litvinov.

The ISB performed essentially technical functions, including gathering information and distributing documents of the Second International. Within the ISB the Bolsheviks struggled against the reformists, who controlled the bureau, and attempted to transform it into a true center of the international socialist movement that would coordinate the actions of the working class. However, the opportunist and centrist majority of the ISB thwarted these efforts. After the outbreak of World War I the ISB was disbanded.


Lenin, V. I. “Zasedanie Mezhdunarodnogo sotsialisticheskogo biuro.” Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 17.
Lenin, V. I. “Odinadtsataia sessiia Mezhdunarodnogo sotsialisticheskogo biuro.” Ibid., vol. 19.
Lenin, V. I. “Doklad Mezhdunarodnomu sotsialisticheskomu biuro.” Ibid., vol. 24.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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