Staging China’s “Age of Extremes”: Divergent radicalizations among Chinese youth in Europe, 1922–1924

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review


Highlighting the rise of the radical communist and fascist movements after the First World War, Eric Hobsbawm characterized the “short twentieth century” as “an age of extremes.” China shared in this history. How did this “age of extremes” take root in China? Current literature emphasizes the rise of communism in China as the driving force in the coming of China’s age of extremes, a rise guided by representatives of the Communist International in Moscow. Yet, by examining the political struggles between the Chinese Communists and the national socialist Chinese Youth Party in Europe, this article demonstrates that divergent radicalizations emerged among educated Chinese youths in the early 1920s. Thus, this article contributes to an understanding of how global interconnections and cross-pollinations of ideas, actions, events, and political institutions brought changes to the political topography of the early twentieth-century world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-52
Number of pages20
JournalTwentieth-Century China
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Chinese communist party
  • Chinese youth party
  • National socialism
  • Work-study movement
  • Zeng Qi
  • Zhou Enlai

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Political Science and International Relations


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