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Critical Realism and Hegemony: Hic Rhodus, Hic Saltus.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date05/2003
JournalJournal of Critical Realism
Number of pages12
Original languageEnglish


This is a recent contribution to the Routledge series Studies in Critical Realism. Jonathan Joseph, its author, aims to develop Gramsci�s celebrated analysis of hegemony in a critical realist direction by distinguishing analytically between �structural hegemony� and hegemonic projects and then connecting them dialectically. He develops this approach through a critical engagement not only with Gramsci�s work but also with other positions and debates within classical Marxism, Western Marxism, and post-Marxism. The intended result is a �theory of hegemony [that] combines the political moment of agency with the structural nature of social reproduction� (161). He illustrates his arguments with observations on a range of historical conjunctural analyses drawn from classical Marxism (i.e., Lenin and Trotsky) and Western Marxism (notably the Anderson-Nairn thesis on the peculiarities of British development) and, for his contemporary analyses, from the development of Fordism and the state in post-war Britain in the context of globalization. And he concludes with the view that the Leninist theory of the vanguard party can be grounded in a critical realist understanding of the heterogeneity and complexity of capitalist social formations.