Date of Degree

6-2021

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Political Science

Advisor

Benedetto Fontana

Subject Categories

Political Theory

Keywords

Police, police reform, hegemony, Gramsci, Machiavelli, civil society

Abstract

This paper attempts to analyze two recent New York police reform campaigns - one to overturn the state’s system of criminal bail release, the other to make police officer discipline transparent to the public - using theories given by Antonio Gramsci. The paper will apply the concepts of hegemony, hegemonic discourse, the intertwining of the state and civil society, the attainment of political agency amongst the subaltern, and the role ideology plays in all of these concepts, to assess the success of the reform campaigns. The paper will argue that many of these concepts are further developments of political theories first expounded by Machiavelli, in order to support the notion that Gramscian theory is not strictly Marxist, but a distinctly humanist approach to politics.

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