Definition of contestation in US English:



  • 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’
    • ‘If subjective identification emerges from relationality, fractures and faultlines within the relational field may produce conflict and contestation within subjectivity.’
    • ‘Democratic politics is bound to the terrain of dispute and contestation.’
    • ‘Without an independent media, the multiplicity of voices, whether in concert or contestation, are less likely to be heard, Jervis insisted.’
    • ‘We need as much genuine debate and political contestation as a democratic system such as ours can muster.’
    • ‘It is only through ongoing debate and contestation that any nation that I want to inhabit will be produced.’
    • ‘Democracy, too, born of dissensus and struggle, is about agonism - contestation over matters public which nevertheless accepts a consensus which avoids antagonism.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It has encountered contestation and some debate.’
    • ‘This has coincided with an increasing methodological interest in contestation, ambiguity and uncertainty.’
    • ‘The specific circumstances here are a bit murky, and will be subject to contestation.’
    • ‘Hall deals with the process of contestation and what is required to replace embedded ideas, established interests and institutions.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But ‘family values’, once a matter of stated political doctrine, have now receded from the realm of political contestation to become naturalized.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The conflicting interests of the two regulatory projects led to interscalar contestation between the local and the national.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Because in the past nobody believed that the two-party contestation becomes a primary feature of party politics in Japan.’
    • ‘We present a case study that deals with controversy and contestation over three cultural productions in the past 10 years.’
    • ‘Potentials for human communication allow discussion, contestation, and the use of the human imagination to stimulate innovation and conflict resolution.’
    • ‘And these representations changed appreciably over the centuries, through a process of both contestation and assimilation.’
    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.