Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe are also credited for advancement of this theory and most importantly hegemonic discourse. Antonio Gramsci on the other hand, is credited for coining the term hegemony referring to the predominance of one social class over others. The dominant class projects its own way of viewing the world and the dominated classes take this view as ‘common sense’ or ‘natural’. Hegemonic discuss most often involves discussions about the developed and developing countries with the developed countries especially U.S assuming the role of a hegemony that controls or regulates the rest of the world in what Brand refers to as “global governance” (155-176). Theorists agree that discourse involves power relations in society and that hegemonic practice is a form of political activity or struggle (Howarth & Stavrakakis 2). This essay will use the hegemonic discourse to deconstruct one aspect of international development: global governance and in particular developing countries.
According to Laclau and Mouffe, every material object is articulated within discourse thus it is not determined by nature. The main assumption of discourse theory is that all objects and actions are meaningful, and their meaning is conferred by historically specific systems of rules. For them
The fact that every object is constituted as an object of discourse has nothing to do with whether there is a world external to thought, or with that realism/idealism opposition. An earthquake occurs here and now independent of my will. But whether their specifity as object is constructed in terms of ‘natural phenomenon’ or ‘expressions of the wrath of God’ depends upon restructuring of discursive field. What is derived is not that such objects exist externally to thought, but the rather different assertion that they constitute themselves as objects ...
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