Posts Tagged ‘hegemony’
Since its original publication fifteen years ago, this hugely influential book – by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe – has been at the centre of much debate. The arguments and controversies it has aroused are, furthermore, far from abating: the disintegration of the Soviet bloc, the emergence of new social and political identities linked to the transformation of late capitalism, and the crisis of a left-wing project whose essentialist underpinnings have increasingly come under fire have, if anything, made more relevant than ever the theoretical perspective that the book proposes. Moreover the political project of ‘radical and plural democracy‘ that it advocates provides a much-needed antidote to the attempts to formulate a Third Way capable of overcoming the classical opposition between Left and Right. Updated with a new preface, this is a fundamental text for understanding the workings of hegemony and grasping the nature of contemporary social struggles and their significance for democratic theory.
This paper maps the global dimension of higher education and associated research, including the differentiation of national systems and institutions, while reflecting critically on theoretical tools for working this terrain. Arguably the most sustained theorisation of higher education is by Bourdieu: the paper explores the relevance and limits of Bourdieu’s notions of field of power, agency, positioned and position-taking; drawing on Gramsci’s notion of hegemony in explaining the dominant role played by universities from the United States. Noting there is greater ontological openness in global than national educational settings, and that Bourdieu’s reading of structure/agency becomes trapped on the structure side, the paper discusses Sen on self-determining identity and Appadurai on global imagining, flows and ‘scapes’. The dynamics of Bourdieu’s competitive field of higher education continue to play out globally, but located within a larger and more disjunctive relational setting, and a setting that is less closed, than he suggests.
Gramsci wrote “that the modern prince, the myth-prince cannot be a real person, a concrete individual. It can only be an organism, a complex element of society in which a collective will, which has already been recognized and has to some extent asserted itself in action, begins to take a concrete form.” I contend that for the past fifteen years or so, a new form of collective will has been forming around anti-globalization forces.
In this paper I propose to present the rise of this new “Postmodern prince” based on the writings of neo-Gramscians such as Robert Cox and Stephen Gill. In my view the “Postmodern prince” can be understood as the coordination on a global scale of various social and political movements on the left who are slowly trying to unite in order to resist Neoliberalism. Neoliberalism can be broadly defined as a political and economic reinforcement of corporate and class power within contemporary states as well as globally.