In the shadows of the dialectic method: Building a framework upon the thoughts of Adorno and Gramsci


In the afterword of Capital Marx argued that his method had been little understood. In fact, Marx never really fully explained his method in one place and, moreover, Engels’ attempts to elucidate Marx’s method led to a fruitless dogmatism. Adorno claimed that science following Hegel’s death science moved into two directions: (a) a clear methodology and (b) a philosophy, disrobed of the empirical content on wish – according to Hegel – the intellect had to test itself. The aim of this article is to bridge this gap, and the dialectical method is seen as a significant point of consideration. The goal of the article is not to overcome existing problems in readings of Marx, but to approach International Political Economy (IPE) from the basis of certain neo-Gramscian approaches. In doing so, the article attempts to unpack how this can enrich the existing literature on Marx’s dialectic, including the interpretations of Adorno and Hegel. The article contains three parts. First, it provides an account of the theoretical background of neo- Gramscian IPE. The second section brings theoretical and methodological ideas together to develop a useable dialectic framework for empirical research. Last, the framework will be applied to an empirical case in politics.

Keywords: Ontological Framework, Antonio Gramsci, Dialectic, Research Design

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