International Political Theory

Political Hegemony and Social Complexity

Mechanisms of Power After Gramsci

Authors: Williams, Alex

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  • First book to integrate complexity theory with the theorisation and practice of hegemony
  • Deploys new theoretical resources to rethink the persistence of neoliberalism since 2008
  • Provides a detailed and original reading of Gramsci, synthesising recent scholarship to demonstrate the absolute modernity of his core ideas
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-19795-7
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Hardcover $84.99
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About this book

How can we understand power in a world of ever-growing complexity? This book proposes that we can do so by rethinking the theory and practice of political hegemony through the resources of complexity theory. Taking Gramsci’s understanding of hegemony as its starting point, the book argues that the intricacies of contemporary power can be mapped by applying concepts drawn from complexity theory, such as emergence, self-organisation, metastability, and generative entrenchment. It develops an original account of social complexity, drawing upon critical realist sociology, analytic philosophy of science, Marxist and continental philosophies, and neoliberal and anarchist thought. It then draws out the elements of Gramscian hegemony that already align with complexity concepts, such as the balance of forces, common sense, and the historic bloc. On this basis, the book sets out the different dimensions of complex hegemonic power before using this theory to interpret the nature of the power of neoliberalism since 2008.

About the authors

Alex Williams is a lecturer in the School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies at the University of East Anglia, UK. His work focuses on power, technology, and strategy. He is the co-author of Inventing the Future (with N. Srnicek, 2015) and Hegemony Now (with J. Gilbert, forthcoming).

Reviews

“This is an excellent introduction to the politics of hegemony in an age of complexity. It provides useful insights into both theories by bringing them into critical relation to one another in a novel way. The book makes a strong contribution to the fields of politics and social theory.” (Jonathan Joseph, Professor of Politics and International Relations, University of Bristol, UK)

“Hegemony remains an essential concept, without which we cannot make rational sense of political, cultural or social change and stability. Implicitly or explicitly, understandings of hegemony since Gramsci have always been informed by the attempt to map social complexity, and to intervene in it. But no prior work has tackled this subject so directly, or with such clarity and rigour. This book constitutes a remarkably significant contribution to social and political theory, while offering a unique an invaluable perspective on our times.” (Jeremy Gilbert, Professor of Cultural and Political Theory, University of East London, UK)

Table of contents (11 chapters)

Table of contents (11 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $64.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-19795-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $84.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-19794-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Political Hegemony and Social Complexity
Book Subtitle
Mechanisms of Power After Gramsci
Authors
Series Title
International Political Theory
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG, part of Springer Nature
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-19795-7
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-19795-7
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-19794-0
Series ISSN
2662-6039
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XI, 252
Number of Illustrations
7 b/w illustrations
Topics