COMPLETE COURSE ON POLITICAL SCIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS OPTIONAL Presented by Navneet Kaur
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LESSON 31 PAPER 1 (PART A) CONCEPT OF POWER HEGEMONY
INTRODUCTION The notion of hegemony is especially difficult to enumerate both in concrete political terms and in a less tangible philosophical manner. It is the political, economic, or military predominance or control of one state over others. In Ancient Greece (8th century BCE 6th century CE), hegemony signified the politico-military supremacy of a city-state over other city-states. The ominant state is known as the hegemony.
In the 19th century, hegemony represented the "Social or cultural predominance or ascendancy; predominance by one group within a society or milieu". Afterwards, it could be used to mean "a group or regime which exerts undue influence within a society." Also, it could be used for the geopolitical and the cultural preponderance of one country over others, from which was derived hegemonism. It means that the Great Powers meant to establish European hegemony over Asia and Africa
o In theoretical viewpoint, hegemony is the expression of society's ruling classes over the majority of the nation or state over whom they propose to rule. Gramsci (1971) describes hegemony as, "a conception of the world that is implicitly manifest in art, in law, in economic activity and in all manifestations of individual and collective life." 13
Five dimensions of the concept of hegemony: There are five basic dimensions of hegemony that range from obvious to more subtle. These are explained as under: Military: The hegemon has the strongest military in the world considerably stronger than any of its rivals. Its military alliance system is significantly stronger than any rival military blocs. Economic: The hegemon has the biggest and most technologically advanced economy in the world. It is a major trading partner of most of the nations of the world, including most of the major powers.
Political: The hegemon has array of political allies, and friendly relations with most nations and major powers. Institutional: The hegemon, working with its associates, makes most of the rules that govern global political and economic relations. The hegemon, along with its allies, usually controls most of the international institutions. Thus, most of the policies of the international institutions favour the hegemon and its partners. Ideological: The hegemon mainly determines the terms of discourse in international relations. Marx wrote, "The ruling ideas of any age are the ideas of the ruling class." Currently, the predominant ideas about globalization are the ideas of hegemony.
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