Internationalism is a political movement which advocates a greater economic and political cooperation among nations for the theoretical benefit of all. Partisans of this movement, such as supporters of the World Federalist Movement, claim that nations should cooperate because their long-term mutual interests are of greater value than their individual short term needs.
Internationalism is by nature opposed to ultranationalism, jingoism, realism and national chauvinism. Internationalism presupposes the recognition of other nations as equal, in spite of all their differences. The term internationalism is often wrongly used as a synonym for cosmopolitanism. 'Cosmopolitanist' is also sometimes used as a term of abuse for internationalists. Internationalism is not necessarily anti-nationalism, as in the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China.
Internationalism is most commonly expressed as an appreciation for the diverse cultures in the world, and a desire for world peace. People who express this view believe in not only being a citizen of their respective countries, but of being a citizen of the world. Internationalists feel obliged to assist the world through leadership and charity.
The sovereign nations vs. supernational powers balance
Internationalism, in the strict meaning of the word, is still based on the existence of sovereign nations. Its aims are to encourage multilateralism (world leadership not held by any single country) and create some formal and informal interdependence between countries, with some limited supranational powers given to international organizations controlled by those nations via intergovernmental treaties and institutions.
The ideal of many internationalists, among them world citizens, is to go a step further towards democratic globalisation by creating a world government. However, this idea is opposed and/or thwarted by other internationalists, who believe any World Government body would be inherently too powerful to be trusted, or because they dislike the path taken by supranational entities such as the United Nations or the European Union and fear that a world government inclined towards fascism would emerge from the former. These internationalists are more likely to support a loose world federation in which most power resides with the national governments.