Definition of contestation in English:



mass nounformal
  • The action or process of disputing or arguing.

    ‘ideological contestation over social policy in the European Union’
    count noun ‘a self-conscious contestation of the government’
    • ‘Potentials for human communication allow discussion, contestation, and the use of the human imagination to stimulate innovation and conflict resolution.’
    • ‘We need as much genuine debate and political contestation as a democratic system such as ours can muster.’
    • ‘In that sense the decision to make the award - and the motivation for doing so - was inevitably going to be subject to the same intensely partisan contestation process.’
    • ‘This has coincided with an increasing methodological interest in contestation, ambiguity and uncertainty.’
    • ‘And these representations changed appreciably over the centuries, through a process of both contestation and assimilation.’
    • ‘We present a case study that deals with controversy and contestation over three cultural productions in the past 10 years.’
    • ‘It has encountered contestation and some debate.’
    • ‘Without an independent media, the multiplicity of voices, whether in concert or contestation, are less likely to be heard, Jervis insisted.’
    • ‘Because in the past nobody believed that the two-party contestation becomes a primary feature of party politics in Japan.’
    • ‘Hall deals with the process of contestation and what is required to replace embedded ideas, established interests and institutions.’
    • ‘Democratic politics is bound to the terrain of dispute and contestation.’
    • ‘Left alone, they would have evolved in unpredictable ways through local negotiation and contestation over the course of time and through the formation of a central state.’
    • ‘It is only through ongoing debate and contestation that any nation that I want to inhabit will be produced.’
    • ‘But in saying this, both partisans of the left and of the right agree that the West is characterized by contestation, by disagreement, and by questions more than by answers.’
    • ‘If subjective identification emerges from relationality, fractures and faultlines within the relational field may produce conflict and contestation within subjectivity.’
    • ‘The conflicting interests of the two regulatory projects led to interscalar contestation between the local and the national.’
    • ‘But ‘family values’, once a matter of stated political doctrine, have now receded from the realm of political contestation to become naturalized.’
    • ‘Democracy, too, born of dissensus and struggle, is about agonism - contestation over matters public which nevertheless accepts a consensus which avoids antagonism.’
    • ‘The specific circumstances here are a bit murky, and will be subject to contestation.’
    • ‘Far from relegating religion to the private sphere, it makes it an explicit component of politics and very much part of the public sphere of debate and contestation.’
    discussion, exchange of views, discourse, parley
    View synonyms


Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘solemn appeal or protest’): from Latin contestatio(n-), from contestari ‘call upon to witness’ (see contest); reinforced by French contestation.