Gramscian Hegemony

  • Alex WilliamsEmail author
Part of the International Political Theory book series (IPoT)


This chapter consists of an analysis of the concept of hegemony. It traces its origins in early Marxism, through sedimentation in the thought of Antonio Gramsci, and reformulation in the 1980s, and towards a defence of the concept’s cfontemporary relevance. This chapter has two main lines of argument. The first is to posit that the development of the concept of hegemony within Marxist political theory marks increasing attempts to think the ever-more complex nature of the political world. Because of this, we can best understand our contemporary moment by a further abstraction and complexification of the core concepts of hegemony. As such the author develops an original reading of Gramsci’s hegemony, paying close attention to concepts such as the relation of forces, domination and consent, common sense, the integral state, organic crisis, and the historic bloc.


Gramsci Hegemony Common sense Historic bloc Crisis 


  1. Adams, Richard, Patrick Wintour, and Steven Morris. 2014. All Schools Must Promote “British Values”, says Michael Gove. The Guardian, June 9, sec. Politics.Google Scholar
  2. Agnew, John, and Stuart Crobridge. 2002. Mastering Space: Hegemony, Territory and International Political Economy. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Althusser, Louis, and Étienne Balibar. 1971. Reading Capital. New York: Pantheon Books.Google Scholar
  4. Anderson, Perry. 1976. The Antinomies of Antonio Gramsci. New Left Review I: 5–78.Google Scholar
  5. ———. 2017. The H-Word: The Peripeteia of Hegemony. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  6. Antoniades, Andreas. 2008. From “Theories of Hegemony” to “Hegemony Analysis” in International Relations. Conference presented at the 49th Annual Convention of the International Studies Association (ISA), March 28, San Francisco, CA.Google Scholar
  7. Beasley-Murray, Jon. 2010. Posthegemony: Political Theory and Latin America. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  8. Bhaskar, Roy. 1994. Plato Etc. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  9. Bieler, Andreas, and Adam David Morton. 2004. A Critical Theory Route to Hegemony, World Order and Historical Change: Neo-Gramscian Perspectives in International Relations. Capital & Class 28: 85–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bobbio, Norberto. 1979. Gramsci and the Conception of Civil Society. In Gramsci and Marxist Theory, ed. Chantal Mouffe, 21–47. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Boothman, Derek. 2011. The Sources for Gramsci’s Concept of Hegemony. In Rethinking Gramsci, ed. Marcus E. Green, 56–67. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  12. Buci-Glucksmann, Christine. 1980. Gramsci and the State. Trans. David Fernbach. London: Lawrence & Wishart.Google Scholar
  13. Butler, Judith, Ernesto Laclau, and Slavoj Žižek. 2000. Contingency, Hegemony, Universality: Contemporary Dialogues on the Left. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  14. Connell, R.W., and James W. Messerschmidt. 2005. Hegemonic Masculinity Rethinking the Concept. Gender & Society 19: 829–859.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cox, Robert W. 1983. Gramsci, Hegemony and International Relations: An Essay in Method. Millennium—Journal of International Studies 12: 162–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Davies, Jonathan S. 2011. Challenging Governance Theory: From Networks to Hegemony. Bristol and Chicago, IL: Policy Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Day, Richard J.F. 2005. Gramsci Is Dead: Anarchist Currents in the Newest Social Movements. London: Pluto Press.Google Scholar
  18. Gilbert, Jeremy. 2013. “Hegemony Now.” 2013.
  19. Gramsci, Antonio. 1971. In Selections from the Prison Notebooks, ed. Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell-Smith. London: Lawrence & Wishart.Google Scholar
  20. ———. 1995. Further Selections from the Prison Notebooks. Trans. Derek Boothman. London: Lawrence & Wishart.Google Scholar
  21. Hall, Stuart. 1988. The Hard Road to Renewal: Thatcherism and the Crisis of the Left. London and New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  22. ———. 1991. Gramsci and Us. In Gramsci’s Political Thought, ed. Roger Simon, 129–147. London: Lawrence & Wishart.Google Scholar
  23. Hall, Stuart, and Martin Jacques, eds. 1989. New Times: The Changing Face of Politics in the 1990s. London: Lawrence & Wishart.Google Scholar
  24. Hall, Stuart, C. Critcher, T. Jefferson, J. Clarke, and B. Roberts. 1978. Policing the Crisis: Mugging, the State and Law and Order. London: Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hearn, Jeff. 2004. From Hegemonic Masculinity to the Hegemony of Men. Feminist Theory 5: 49–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hobbes, Thomas. 1996. Hobbes: “Leviathan”. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Joll, James. 1977. Gramsci. Fontana Modern Masters. Glasgow: Fontana.Google Scholar
  28. Joseph, Jonathan. 2002. Hegemony: A Realist Analysis. New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kautsky, Karl. 1892. Das Erfurter Programm. Stuttgart: Verlag von J. H. W. Diek.Google Scholar
  30. Keohane, Robert O. 2005. After Hegemony: Cooperation and Discord in the World Political Economy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Kronsell, Annica. 2005. Gendered Practices in Institutions of Hegemonic Masculinity. International Feminist Journal of Politics 7: 280–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Laclau, Ernesto. 1990. New Reflections on the Revolution of Our Time. London and New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  33. ———. 1996. Why Do Empty Signifiers Matter to Politics? In Emancipation(s), 36–46. London and New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  34. Laclau, Ernesto, and Chantal Mouffe. 1985. Hegemony and Socialist Strategy. London and New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  35. Larrain, Jorge. 1983. Marxism and Ideology. Aldershot: Greggs Revivals.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Lash, Scott. 2007. Power After Hegemony Cultural Studies in Mutation? Theory, Culture & Society 24: 55–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Lenin, V.I. 1971. What Is to Be Done. Moscow: Progress Publishers.Google Scholar
  38. Milne, Seumas. 1994. The Enemy Within: The Secret War Against the Miners. London and New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  39. Mouffe, Chantal. 1979. Hegemony and Ideology in Gramsci. In Gramsci and Marxist Theory, ed. Chantal Mouffe, 168–204. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  40. Plekhanov, G.V. 1974. Socialism and the Political Struggle. In Selected Philosophical Works, vol. 1. Moscow: Progress Publishers.Google Scholar
  41. Poulantzas, Nicos. 1973. Political Power and Social Classes. London: New Left Books.Google Scholar
  42. Simon, Roger. 1991. Gramsci’s Political Thought. London: Lawrence & Wishart.Google Scholar
  43. Smucker, Jonathan. 2017. Hegemony How-To: A Roadmap for Radicals. Chico, CA: AK Press.Google Scholar
  44. Texier, Jacques. 1979. “Gramsci, Theoretician of the Superstructures: On the Concept of Civil Society.” In Gramsci and Marxist Theory, ed. Chantal Mouffe, 48–79. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  45. Thoburn, Nicholas. 2007. Patterns of Production: Cultural Studies After Hegemony. Theory, Culture & Society 24: 79–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Thomas, Peter. 2009. The Gramscian Moment: Philosophy, Hegemony and Marxism. Chicago, IL: Haymarket.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. ———. 2012. “The Gramscian Moment”: An Interview with Peter Thomas. In Antonio Gramsci: Working-Class Revolutionary: Essays and Interviews, ed. Adam Thomas. London: Worker’s Liberty.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication StudiesUniversity of East AngliaNorwichUK

Personalised recommendations