Islam, 'Soft' Orientalism and Hegemony: A Gramscian Rereading

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The neo‐Gramscian framework offers one of the more innovative contributions to a discipline long embedded in the self‐same verities of behaviouralism, positivism and neo‐Realism. As with conventional wisdom, however, neo‐Gramscians reproduce either assumptions of liberal neutrality or cultural thickness in relation to the ‘peripheral zones’ of the global political economy. These tendencies produce a variant that can be likened to ‘soft Orientalism’. In the first instance, cultural difference is not much of an impediment to the establishment of (West‐centred) global hegemony. In the second instance, otherness becomes the principal source of counter‐hegemonic movements or resistance. This article provides a Gramscian rereading of these antinomies in relation to the apparent consolidation of a natural attitude towards Islam in the wake of recent dramatic events.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-558
Number of pages16
JournalCritical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2005


  • Gramsci
  • Islam
  • Orientalism
  • hegemony
  • neo-Gramscians
  • international relations theory


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