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The role of hegemony in secessionist movements : the case study of the Moldovan Republic of Transnistria
journal contributionposted on 01.01.2008, 00:00 authored by Costas LaoutidesCostas Laoutides
The aim of the article is to analyse the secessionist phenomenon by applying the concept of hegemony. Based on critical realist interpretations of the concept, it is argued that hegemonic practice incorporates both inter-subjective and structural aspects. The inter-subjective aspect of hegemony places emphasis on the relations between social groups and the way hegemonic practice leads social agents towards political projects that secure consensus in favour of the interest of particular elites. The structural character of hegemonic practice is evident in the reproduction of social conditions and values that underlie the relations between social agents both globally and domestically. Accordingly, the inter-subjective character of secession as hegemonic practice is evident in the organization of social agents towards a political option (territorial separatism) to the extent that it serves the goals of certain elites. The sturctural aspect of secessionist practice is hegeminic because it reproduces international structures that tend to associate political organization with ethnicity at the state level. The analysis then turns to the case study of Transnistria in Moldova as an empirical illustration of the two tendencies of hegemonic practice in secessionist politics leading ot useful conclusions both for the case study in particular and the study of secession in general.