Antonio Gramsci's analysis of Italian and European history informed his understanding of the social, political, and economic transition of societies. He was able to chart and connect this change before and during his lifetime to explain the emergence of the capitalist mode of production, and specifically how, through hegemony, those who labour for the profits of others come to support a system that depends on their exploitation. While explanations of how hegemony has been constructed and maintained in the West are illuminating, the concern of this chapter is with how this transformative process operated in a region where, prior to colonial rule, there was no state, no capitalism, limited trade, and, crucially, no concept of civil society. How can Gramsci's theory of hegemony be relevant to these areas?
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