Between Semiosis and Materiality: Theoretical Cornerstones

  • Daniela Caterina
Part of the Contributions to Political Science book series (CPS)


Chapter  2 focuses on the theoretical foundations of the book by introducing cultural political economy (CPE) as the overarching research programme of the project and discussing its peculiarity as a ‘third way’ between the opposite risks of radical structuralism and constructivism respectively. It follows an in-depth discussion of the two poles that CPE seeks to merge, i.e. critical political economy and critical semiotic analysis. First, CPE’s critical political economy approach to the capitalist type of state develops along a parallel conception of capital as a social relation and of the state as a social relation. Second, the chapter clarifies what does it mean for CPE to take semiosis into account and presents Faircloughs’s critical discourse analysis approach as a key candidate to fulfil this task.


  1. Buckel, S., Georgi, F., Kannankulam, J., & Wissel, J. (2014). Staat, Europa und Migrationskontrollen: theoretische Grundlagen einer materialistische Perspektive. In F. S. Europa (Ed.), Kämpfe um Migrationspolitik: Theorie, Methode und Analysen kritischer Europaforschung (pp. 22–41). Bielefeld: transcript Verlag.Google Scholar
  2. Caterina, D. (2017). The quest for hegemony in the shadow of the crisis: A cultural political economy perspective on Italy and on the political conflict over the 2012 labour market reform (PhD thesis). Hamburg: University of Hamburg.Google Scholar
  3. Caterina, D. (2018). Investigating hegemony struggles: Transdisciplinary considerations on the role of a critical discourse analysis of practical argumentation. Critical Discourse Studies, 15(3), 211–227. Scholar
  4. Coleman, S. (2013). How to make a drama out of a crisis. Political Studies Review, 11(3), 328–335. Scholar
  5. Danermark, B., Ekström, M., Jakobsen, L., & Karlsson, J. C. (2002). Explaining society: Critical realism in the social sciences. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  6. Demirovic, A. (2007). Politische Gesellschaft – zivile Gesellschaft. Zur Theorie des integralen Staates bei Antonio Gramsci. In S. Buckel & A. Fischer-Lescano (Eds.), Hegemonie gepanzert mit Zwang. Zivilgesellschaft und Politik im Staatsverständnis Antonio Gramscis (pp. 21–41). Baden-Baden: Nomos.Google Scholar
  7. Dijk, T. v. (Ed.). (1997). Discourse as social interaction. Discourse studies 2: A multidisciplinary introduction. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  8. Fairclough, N. (1989). Language and power. London: Longman.Google Scholar
  9. Fairclough, N. (1992). Discourse and social change. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  10. Fairclough, N. (2003). Analysing discourse: Textual analysis for social research. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fairclough, N. (2005a). Peripheral vision: Discourse analysis in organization studies: The case for critical realism. Organization Studies, 26(6), 915–939. Scholar
  12. Fairclough, N. (2005b). Discourse in processes of social change: “Transition” in Central and Eastern Europe. B.A.S. British and American Studies, 11, 9–34.Google Scholar
  13. Fairclough, N. (2006). Language and globalization. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  14. Fairclough, N. (2013). Critical discourse analysis and critical policy studies. Critical Policy Studies, 7(2), 177–197. Scholar
  15. Fairclough, N. (2015). Language and power (3rd ed.). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Fairclough, I., & Fairclough, N. (2011). Practical reasoning in political discourse: The UK government’s response to the economic crisis in the 2008 Pre-Budget report. Discourse & Society, 22(3), 243–268. Scholar
  17. Fairclough, I., & Fairclough, N. (2012). Political discourse analysis: A method for advanced students. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  18. Fairclough, I., & Fairclough, N. (2013). Argument, deliberation, dialectic and the nature of the political: A CDA perspective. Political Studies Review, 11(3), 336–344. Scholar
  19. Fairclough, N., & Wodak, R. (1997). Critical discourse analysis. In T. Van Dijk (Ed.), Discourse as social interaction (pp. 258–284). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  20. Fairclough, N., Jessop, B., & Sayer, A. (2004). Critical realism and semiosis. In J. Joseph & J. M. Roberts (Eds.), Realism discourse deconstruction (pp. 23–42). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  21. Finlayson, A. (2013). Critique and political argumentation. Political Studies Review, 11(3), 313–320. Scholar
  22. Gramsci, A. (2012 [1971]). Selections from the prison notebooks. New York: International Publishers.Google Scholar
  23. Hay, C. (2002). Political analysis: A critical introduction. Basingstoke: Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hay, C. (2013). Political discourse analysis: The dangers of methodological absolutism. Political Studies Review, 11(3), 321–327. Scholar
  25. Hirsch, J. (1992). Regulation, Staat und Hegemonie. In A. Demirović, H.-P. Krebs, & T. Sablowski (Eds.), Hegemonie und Staat: kapitalistische Regulation als Projekt und Prozess (pp. 203–231). Münster: Westfälisches Dampfboot.Google Scholar
  26. Jessop, B. (1990). State theory: Putting the capitalist state in its place. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  27. Jessop, B. (1992). Regulation und Politik: integrale Ökonomie und integraler Staat. In A. Demirovic, H.-P. Krebs, & T. Sablowski (Eds.), Hegemonie und Staat: kapitalistische Regulation als Projekt und Prozess (pp. 232–262). Münster: Westfälisches Dampfboot.Google Scholar
  28. Jessop, B. (2002). The future of the capitalist state. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  29. Jessop, B. (2003). Putting hegemony in its place. Journal of Critical Realism, 2(1), 138–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Jessop, B. (2004). Critical semiotic analysis and cultural political economy. Critical Discourse Studies, 1(2), 159–174. Scholar
  31. Jessop, B. (2006). The strategic-relational approach: An interview with Bob Jessop. In J. H. Ji & S. Kytir (Eds.).
  32. Jessop, B. (2008). State power: A stretegic-relational approach. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  33. Jessop, B. (2010). Cultural political economy and critical policy studies. Critical Policy Studies, 3(3–4), 336–356. Scholar
  34. Jessop, B. (2012). Crossing boundaries: Towards cultural political economy. Interview with Bob Jessop. In A. Labrousse, T. Lamarche, & J. Vercueil (Eds.), Revue de la régulation.,
  35. Jessop, B. (2013). Recovered imaginaries, imagined recoveries. In M. Benner (Ed.), Before and beyond the global economic crisis (pp. 234–254). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Jessop, B., & Oosterlynck, S. (2008). Cultural political economy: On making the cultural turn without falling into soft economic sociology. Geoforum, 39(3), 1155–1169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Jessop, B., & Sum, N.-L. (2001). Pre-disciplinary and post-disciplinary perspectives. New Political Economy, 6(1), 89–101. Scholar
  38. Jessop, B., & Sum, N.-L. (2006). Beyond the regulation approach. Putting capitalist economies in their place. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Jessop, B., & Sum, N.-L. (2016). What is critical? Critical Policy Studies, 10(1), 105–109. Scholar
  40. Opratko, B. (2012). Hegemonie. Politische Theorie nach Antonio Gramsci. Münster: Westfälisches Dampfboot.Google Scholar
  41. Poulantzas, N. L. V. (2000 [1978]). State, power, socialism. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  42. Sayer, A. (2000). Realism and social science. London: SAGE Publications.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Sum, N.-L. (2009). The production of hegemonic policy discourses: ‘Competitiveness’ as a knowledge brand and its (re-)contextualizations. Critical Policy Studies, 3(2), 184–203. Scholar
  44. Sum, N.-L. (2012). Towards a cultural political economy: Discourses, material power and (counter-)hegemony (CPERC working paper, Vol. 01). Lancaster: Cultural Political Economy Research Centre (CPERC), Lancaster University.Google Scholar
  45. Sum, N.-L., & Jessop, B. (2013). Towards a cultural political economy. Putting culture in its place in political economy. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  46. Titscher, S., Meyer, M., Wodak, R., & Vetter, E. (2000). Methods of text and discourse analysis. London: SAGE Publications.Google Scholar
  47. Wodak, R., & Meyer, M. (Eds.). (2009). Methods of critical discourse analysis. London: Sage.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniela Caterina
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Social SciencesUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany

Personalised recommendations