The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Luxemburg, Rosa (1870–1919)

  • Tadeusz Kowalik
Reference work entry


Rosa Luxemburg was born on 5 March 1870 in Zamosc (Polish territory under the Russian occupation), and died, murdered during the revolution, on 15 January 1919 in Berlin. Rosa Luxemburg was a socialist thinker and writer, one of the leaders of Polish and German Social Democracy, and an economist. She studied in Zurich, first philosophy and natural sciences (for two years), then she graduated from the Faculty of Law and Economics. In 1897 she received her PhD for a book Die industrielle Entwicklung Polens (The Industrial Development of Poland) (1898). In 1898 she contracted a marriage of convenience (with G. Luebeck) to obtain German citizenship and from then, until the end of her life, she lived in Berlin. She was one of the founders of the Social Democratic Party in the Kingdom of Poland (under the Russian occupation). The main area of her activity was German Social Democracy, in which she became one of the leading intellectuals. Her articles in which she opposed the revisionism of Eduard Bernstein and defended revolutionary Marxism won her European popularity. (They were subsequently published in a book Sozialreform oder Revolution? [1900].)

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Kalecki, M. 1971. Selected essays on the dynamics of the capitalist economy 1933–1970. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Kowalik, T. 1964. Rosa Luxemburg’s theory of accumulation and imperialism. In Problems of economic dynamics and planning, essays in honour of Michal Kalecki. Warsaw: Panstowowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, 1964. (A summary of a work available in Polish, Italian and Spanish.)Google Scholar
  3. Nettl, J.P. 1966. Rosa Luxemburg, vol. 2. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tadeusz Kowalik
    • 1
  1. 1.