Not to belabor the point, but, in spite of received criticisms, it seems to me posthegemony has not been dealt with, it has only been swept under the carpet, quite conveniently. This is a bit frustrating. It is not that many ignore the term that bothers me–what bothers me is, rather, that many who know the term choose to ignore it when they write about issues and contexts that call for the deployment of the thought posthegemony was meant to elicit. It is more like censorship, really.
The way the term developed, in the context of discussions in the late 1990’s on subalternity, it meant to say (this covers, I think, all versions of it, including the most famous one by Beasley-Murray; but posthegemony is quite differentiated internally, so critiquing one or the other version of it is not the same as critiquing the whole thing) that hegemony does not and cannot exhaust the political field; that hegemony cannot and should not become the central focus of a (total) theory of the political (although of course there can be a theory of hegemony); that hegemony is not a necessary condition of politics; and, certainly, that hegemony is not a sufficient condition of politics.
More proximally, posthegemony came up as a term for what we thought was a necessary critique of Gramscianism (in the 1990s: the necessity of it has only increased exponentially); for a radical critique of “actually-existing” communist politics, even if by “actually existing” we refer for the most part, nowadays, to the politics of those who declare themselves communist in academic discussions; and for what we thought was a necessary critique of post-Marxism as it came to us from Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe and others.
The silencing is so loud that, naturally enough, those who would otherwise be inclined to get into discussions about it decide in advance it is too damned dangerous to use it. This is, ironically, what hegemony does to thought.