The idea of “hegemony” is widely used in many humanities and social science fields, with a broad variety of meanings. In its general sense of dominance of one side over another, on the basis of a combination of power and relatively spontaneous consent, the concept has been with us for over a thousand years. Hegemony emerges with the city-states of ancient Greece, spans the centuries (at times in surreptitious ways) and continues to be pertinent even now – largely due to the worldwide impact of the works of Antonio Gramsci, the 20th century thinker who employed the concept extensively. This book provides a detailed overview of hegemony, in which it is no longer juxtaposed against other categories of the political lexicon (such as democracy, empire, or dictatorship) but rather intimately entangled with them.
Giuseppe Cospito teaches History of Philosophy at the University of Pavia.