Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Hegemony derives from the Greek term hēgemonía ( ), referring to the predominance of one of the city states (e.g., Sparta or Athens) over the others and its related leadership in issues of common interest. In modern times, it has come to be used in reference more generally to the predominance of one actor over others. In contemporary political science, we can distinguish two traditions in the use of the term hegemony . In international relations theory, hegemony has been used more or less directly in reference to the original Greek meaning, where it refers to the predominance (primarily in terms of economic and military power) of one state over others. Alternatively, in Marxist-inspired political science, hegemony refers to the predominance (especially in an ideological sense) of one social group over others. Finally, Robert Cox has established an approach in critical international relations theory in which the differences between these ...