It is a genuine pleasure to respond to Jonathan Josephâ��s restatement and refinement of his account of hegemony as a necessary feature of societal organization with both enduring structural and emergent strategic aspects. Our earlier discussions on this topic and the present written exchange have been conducted in the collegial spirit necessary to advance critical realism and examine its relevance to hegemony. We share a methodological commitment to critical realism and enough common substantive ground toattempt to move the dialogue forward from my earlier critique.Joseph has chosen to respond to this by restating his account of hegemony; in turn, my response will elaborate my own strategic-relational approach (SRA) and its relation to form analysis. I hope thereby to deal with two key issues set out in his response: (a) the nature and limits of functional explanation and (b) the nature and limits of the SRA characteristic of Poulantzasâ��s work as well as mine. But we should first see what is at stake by considering the problematic unity of the social totality and the extent to which form problematizes function.