Published: 18/01/2010
ISBN: 9781848761278
Format: Paperback

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Nigel M. Greaves is a political theorist currently lecturing at the University of Kurdistan Hawler in the semi-autonomous, Kurdish region of Iraq. He gained a first class honours degree in politics f... read more

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Gramsci's Marxism:
Reclaiming A Philosophy of History and Politics
by Nigel M. Greaves

Marxist philosopher and revolutionary Antonio Gramsci has never been as widely discussed in academia as he is today. His work is at the heart of a cluster of assumptions that acknowledge the social and cultural factors involved in fostering and replicating relations of power and domination. Gramsci's work on 'hegemony', 'intellectuals', and the state offer tremendous insights and his notions of 'war of position', 'historical bloc', and so forth, are very much part of the contemporary social science lexicon.

However, it would seem inevitable that this acknowledgment should come at a price. Gramsci's concepts have been all too frequently utilised selectively and idiosyncratically such that the danger posed is one of dislocation of concept from background philosophical source. Due to the extensive range of its concerns and the select nature of its applications, the body of thought that has arisen around Gramsci in recent times is rather too unwieldy and diversified to allow us to identify what is meant exactly by the term 'Gramscian approach'. Indeed, what has evolved into a 'Gramscian school' in recent times is an oxymoron.

Above all, Gramsci's thought has all too often become distanced from his historical context and applied in abstraction. The most clear-cut example of this is his current posthumous alignment with postmodern, post-structural and post-Marxist thinkers. The unacceptable by-product of this is a weakening of both the authority of Gramsci's philosophical foundations and his revolutionary motives. This process of contemporary domestication has gone too far and this book proposes a corrective.

By adopting a contextual historicist method, derived in substantial part from Gramsci himself, the author's intention is to recover his philosophy of history and politics from the otherwise ambiguity that surrounds him. By tracing Gramsci's concepts back to his social, economic, political and philosophical environment, we will discover their participation in a more integrated and symmetrical philosophical schema than is widely assumed to exist.

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