hegemony (hĭjĕmˈənē, hē–, hĕjˈəmōˌnē, hĕgˈə–) [key], [Gr., = leadership], dominance, originally of one Greek city-state over others, the term has been extended to refer to the dominance of one nation over others, and, following Gramsci, of one class over others. Conflict over hegemony fills history from the war between Athens and Sparta to the Napoleonic wars, World Wars I and II, and the Cold War. Gramsci's use of the concept extends it beyond international relations to class structure and even to culture.
See K. J. Holsti, The Dividing Discipline (1985).
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