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IR2002 THEORIES OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Neo-Gramscian Theory.

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Presentation on theme: "IR2002 THEORIES OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Neo-Gramscian Theory."— Presentation transcript:

1 IR2002 THEORIES OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Neo-Gramscian Theory

2 Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937 Founder of the Communist Party of Italy (1921) Elected to the Italian Parliament (1924) Imprisoned by Mussolinis Fascist Government in 1926 Principal work: Quaderni de CarcerePrison Notebooks (1929-1935)

3 Intellectual Roots Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) Karl Marx (1818-1883) Karl Marx (1818-1883)

4 Philosophy Radical social ontologyan ontology of praxis, an understanding of social reality as the conscious creation of human history Radical social ontologyan ontology of praxis, an understanding of social reality as the conscious creation of human history

5 Philosophy (Continued Gramsci: Reality is a product of the application of human will to the society of things, and this process of producing reality entails the historical transformation of human beings and their social lives. Gramsci: Reality is a product of the application of human will to the society of things, and this process of producing reality entails the historical transformation of human beings and their social lives.

6 TWO PRINCIPAL SOURCES MARXISM MARXISM ITALIAN PHILOSOPHY ITALIAN PHILOSOPHY

7 Conventional Marxist Model SUPERSTRUCTUREBASE

8 Major Elements of Gramscian Theory Critique of Economic Determinism Concept of Hegemony Theory of Hegemony

9 Critique of Economic Determinism Significance of culture and social consciousness Background: Success of revolution in the East (Russia), failure in the West Implicit critique of false consciousness thesis

10 Concept of Hegemony Distinction between mainstream and Gramscian understandings of hegemony Mainstream: power as capability or power as a relation

11 Gramscian Concept of Power Dual nature of power Centaur: half-man, half-beast Coercion and Consent (capability and moral leadership)

12 Gramscian Theory of Hegemony Distinction between Dominance and Hegemony Distinction between Dominance and Hegemony Political society/Civil society nexus Political society/Civil society nexus

13 Theory of Hegemony (Continued Significance of Civil Society Institutions of Civil society Moral education

14 SUMMARY Expanded notion of power Significance of cultural hegemony Civil society/State nexus

15 Neo-Gramscian Theory Key Figure: Robert W. Cox Principal Elements Nature of Theory: Theory is always for someone and for some purpose. Two distinct purposes of theory: (a) to be guide to help solve the problem posed within a particular perspective; and (b) reflecting upon the process of theorising itself.

16 Two Kinds of Theory Problem-solving Theory Problem-solving Theory Takes the world as it finds it Takes the world as it finds it Make relationships and institutions work smoothly Make relationships and institutions work smoothly Ceteris paribus assumption Ceteris paribus assumption Fixed reality Fixed reality Assumption of value neutrality Assumption of value neutrality

17 Two Kinds of Theory (Continued) Critical Theory Critical Theory Stands apart from the prevailing order Stands apart from the prevailing order Asks how that order came about Asks how that order came about Questions the ceteris paribus assumption Questions the ceteris paribus assumption Changing reality Changing reality Value commitment Value commitment

18 Distinction Mainstream IR Mainstream IR Stable world Stable world Study of inter-relationships among states in which nation-states are the principal aggregations of political power Study of inter-relationships among states in which nation-states are the principal aggregations of political power War and peace War and peace

19 Distinction (Continued) Critical IR Critical IR Change in IR Change in IR Different kinds of states and non-state entities Different kinds of states and non-state entities Multiplicity of goals Multiplicity of goals Greater complexity Greater complexity

20 Frameworks of Action Historical Structures Institutions Material Capabilities Ideas

21 Three Spheres of Activity 1. Organisation of Production (Social forces engendered by the production process). 2. Forms of state (Derived from different state/society complexes). 3. World Orders (Particular configurations of forces)

22 Social Forces Material Capabilities IdeasInstitutions

23 Technological and organisational Technological and organisational capabilities, natural resources, stocks of capabilities, natural resources, stocks of equipment (industries and armaments), equipment (industries and armaments), and wealth and wealth

24 Ideas Two Kinds: (1) inter-subjective meanings: shared notions of the nature of social relations which influence habits and expectations of behaviour

25 Ideas (2) Collective images of social order held by different groups of people (nature of power relations, meanings of justice and public good)

26 Institutions Reflect the power relations at any given time. Institutionalisation is a process of stabilising a particular order. Reflect the power relations at any given time. Institutionalisation is a process of stabilising a particular order.

27 Institutions Close connection between institutionalisation and hegemony: Institutions provide ways of dealing with conflicts so as to minimise the use of force). Close connection between institutionalisation and hegemony: Institutions provide ways of dealing with conflicts so as to minimise the use of force).

28 Institutions Hegemonic strategy: to allow representation of diverse interests Hegemonic strategy: to allow representation of diverse interests

29 COXIAN TRIAD World Orders Social Forces Forms of State

30 Two Key Questions 1. What are the mechanisms for maintaining hegemony in this particular historical structure? 2. What social forces and/or forms of state have been generated within it which could oppose and ultimately bring about a transformation of the structure?

31 Three Developments 1. Internationalisation of the state. 2. Internationalisation of production. 3. Emergence of a transnational managerial class.

32 Three Possible Scenarios 1. New Hegemony 2. Non-hegemonic order 3. Counter-hegemony

33 Robert W. Cox Key Text: Production, Power and World Order: Social Forces in the Making of History (1987) Production, Power and World Order: Social Forces in the Making of History (1987)


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