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Gramsci's Political ThoughtHegemony, Consciousness, and the Revolutionary Process$
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Joseph V. Femia

Print publication date: 1987

Print ISBN-13: 9780198275435

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198275435.001.0001

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A Peaceful Road to Socialism?

A Peaceful Road to Socialism?

(p.190) Chapter 6 A Peaceful Road to Socialism?
Gramsci's Political Thought

Joseph V. Femia

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the extent to which Antonio Gramsci's hegemonic strategy is compatible with the so-called ‘Italian Road to Socialism’, which aims for a peaceful, constitutional transition to the ‘realm of freedom’. It addresses the question: What exactly are the strategic consequences of the doctrine of hegemony? The study concludes with a systematic assessment of Gramsci's mature thought. Some attempts are conducted to assess the often contrasting interpretations of Gramsci's legacy. Gramsci's prison writings were neither well-defined nor devoid of ambiguity: theoretical gaps and uncertainties often cloud his formulations, and this allows for a multitude of plausible readings. In addition, the various interpretations that view Gramsci as a precursor of the peaceful road to socialism are not themselves usually enunciated with any great precision. It can be concluded that the ‘gradualist’ interpretation of Gramsci, though not without foundation, is incompatible with his expressed views.

Keywords:   Antonio Gramsci, hegemony, Italian Road to Socialism, mature thought, gradualist interpretation

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