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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Agonism \Ag"o*nism\, n. [Gr. ?, fr. ? to contend for a prize, fr. ?. See Agon.] Contention for a prize; a contest. [Obs.]


n. 1 Competitive struggle (especially political) 2 (context biochemistry English) The relationship between an agonist and a receptor


Agonism (from Greek ἀγών agon, "struggle") is a political theory that emphasizes the potentially positive aspects of certain (but not all) forms of political conflict. It accepts a permanent place for such conflict, but seeks to show how we might accept and channel this positively. For this reason, agonists are especially concerned with debates about democracy. The tradition is also referred to as agonistic pluralism.