Marxistische Parteiendebatte revisited

Zur Verortung politischer Parteien in der Bürgerlichen Gesellschaft


  • Anne Steckner



Parteien, Klasse, Marxismus, Hegemonie


Different from approaches to political parties with an affirmative stance towards capitalist domination, Marxist social theory claims to assess the role of parties within Bourgeois society from a critical perspective. Nevertheless, existing debates on political parties in capitalism suffer from a narrow focus on forms and functions. They tend to become functionalist and reductionist on class struggles instead of analyzing different relations of domination. Due to this shortcoming, it is necessary to develop a materialist understanding which takes into account some helpful insights from Gramsci’s concept of political and societal party. His understanding of domination as hegemony provides us with rich analytical instruments: Now we can grasp more precisely to what extent parties play a crucial role in organizing consent within society and how they manage to do so. By critically assessing the Marxist debate on political parties and enriching it with a stronger focus on hegemony, I want to offer a more comprehensive conceptual framework which might be useful for empirical studies.


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Steckner, A. (2013). Marxistische Parteiendebatte revisited: Zur Verortung politischer Parteien in der Bürgerlichen Gesellschaft. PROKLA. Zeitschrift für Kritische Sozialwissenschaft, 43(171), 217 –.