CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS BOOK
The Clash of Civilizations is a hypothesis that people's cultural and religious identities will be Huntington later expanded his thesis in a book The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. The phrase itself was earlier. The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order [Samuel P. his new foreword to the book, it “has earned a place on the shelf of only about a dozen. The Clash Of Civilizations by Samuel P. Huntington, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide.
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The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order by Samuel P. Huntington - The classic study of post-Cold War international relations, more relevant. The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order is one of the most important books to have emerged since the end of the Cold War." --HENRY A. In The Summer Of Foreign Affairs Published An Article Entitled The Clash Of Civilizations? By Samuel Huntington. No Article, According To The Editors Of.
It is over 10 years since I read Samuel Huntington's full length expansion of his classic Foreign Affairs article. This was read during my final year at university, and back then, it was fashionable amongst many to refute, or outrightly mock Professor Huntington's disturbing piece of work. The work was derided amongst my fellow students, it was frequently derieded amongst academia, it is something of a fashion statement to deride Huntington's work.
Could it be, perhaps, because of a deep, in It is over 10 years since I read Samuel Huntington's full length expansion of his classic Foreign Affairs article. Could it be, perhaps, because of a deep, inbuilt feeling that we just know that he was right?
Time has vindicated Huntington, and will continue to vindicate him. The 2 civilizations that Huntington considers to be the most potentially antagonistic toward the West are Islamic and Sinic, however, as this book was completed in , various conflicts had not yet played out between the West and the Orthodox World, and this is deserving of a special place as a potential faultline civilization.
Huntington considers the value systems of Sinic and Islamic culture as essentially incompatible with the West, and attempts to assimilate or reconcile Western values with these cultures is ultimately futile. Therefore, Huntington advocates a careful, cautious approach to foreign policy, wherein Western powers should try to mediate civilizational disputes, but not directly involve themselves with them.
Why do I think Huntington has been vindicated? The list is not exhaustive. Firstly, attempts through that ill conceived ? War in Iraq to democracize Iraq has proved a colossal failure. The Arab Spring led to an outright dead end for all countries involved except Tunisia, and Turkish membership of the EU remains a pipe dream. However, while Huntington's work was written before the full democratization of South Korea and Taiwan, we have seen little progress in China toward any kind of accountable or open system, and China has recently given Hong Kong a half-baked, managed democracy.
If anything, the civilizational faultline that has become more pronounced is the Orthodox World. Russia and US relations are at the worst they have ever been since the end of the Cold War, and the continuing support of Putin's strongman leadership amongst the Russian population shows a general preference in Russia at least for strongman leadership, rather than a more pluralistic approach.
A further example was the almost universal Western support exception Spain for the unilateral independence of Kosovo, and then the complete reverse of this foreign policy toward the Russian unification with Crimea.
This is not to distract oneself with current issues. Huntington's original work was written in response to the Gulf War, and the expanded book was based on events in the 90s, such as the Yugoslav wars, Chechnya, and the very nature of Sino-Western relations. However, very little has transpired to prove Huntington wrong, and few would argue that his main policy proscription, that the West only mediate, not directly involve themselves with disputes involving other civilizations. I think the dust will never settle on the debate over Huntington's thesis, but Huntington has convinced this reader at least.
Hypothesis It is my hypothesis that the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The fault lines betwee Hypothesis It is my hypothesis that the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. Considered as a possible 8th civilization Lone Countries Ethiopia and Haiti are labeled as "Lone" countries Israel Considered a unique state with its own civilization one similar to West The Caribbean World Former British colonies in the Caribbean, constitutes a distinct entity Cleft Countries Because they contain very large groups of people identifying with separate civilizations.
However, the costs of this action are high and only a few states can pursue it Non-Western countries can make an effort to balance Western power through modernization Cooperation They can develop economic, military power and cooperate with other non-Western countries against the West while still preserving their own values and institutions Fault line conflicts Between adjacent states belonging to different civilizations or within states that are home to populations from different civilizations Core state conflicts Between the major states of different civilizations Modernization vs.
Westernization Japan, China and the East Asian Tigers have modernized in many respects while maintaining traditional or authoritarian societies which distinguish them from the West. Some of these countries have clashed with the West and some have not The West is distinguished from Orthodox Christian countries by the experience of the Renaissance, Reformation, the Enlightenment, overseas colonialism rather than contiguous expansion and colonialism, and a recent re-infusion of Classical culture through ancient Greece rather than through the continuous trajectory of the Byzantine Empire Torn countries Countries that are seeking to affiliate with another civilization as "torn countries.
Second, the public must be willing to accept the redefinition. Third, the elites of the civilization that the torn country is trying to join must accept the country Anyhow, no torn country has successfully redefined its civilizational identity Contrast Theories 1 The world had reached the 'end of history' in a Hegelian sense Human rights, liberal democracy, and capitalist free market economy had become the only remaining ideological alternative for nations in the post-Cold War world The End of History by Francis Fukuyama 2 Division of "West" and "Islam" is not as per reality Clash of civilizations thesis is an example of "the purest invidious racism, a sort of parody of Hitlerian science directed today against Arabs and Muslims The Clash of Ignorance by Edward Said 3 Diversity is a feature of most cultures in the world.
Western civilization is no exception The practice of democracy that has won out in the modern West is largely a result of a consensus that has emerged since the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution To attribute it to the West and then to contrast it with non-Western traditions would be a great mistake Amartya Sen View all 3 comments.
Sep 15, Jan Hidders rated it liked it. There is no doubt that this is a must-read if you are interested in global politics. That does not mean that I think the book is right. Quite the contrary, I think the book is dangerously oversimplifying the current situation in world politics and trying to shoe-horn world events into a seductively simple-looking world view that, although advertised as a new paradigm, looks suspiciously like the cold-war paradigm on steroids.
Since the human mind often prefers such simple explanations over more There is no doubt that this is a must-read if you are interested in global politics. Since the human mind often prefers such simple explanations over more complicated ones, and because they also tend to be rather convenient for power-hungry leaders and institutions, these ideas should be very critically examined.
As a whole the book seems well argued and an honest attempt at analysis. I don't think that is a coincidence.
So I would advice everybody who plans to pick up this book, to also make sure that you read afterwards some work that critically examines this book. For an idea of what the critique consists of, you might take a quick look on YouTube for a lecture by the late Edward Said under the title "The Myth of the Clash of Civilizations". View 2 comments.
Jun 05, Hans rated it really liked it Shelves: A pretty decent book. I enjoyed it and his thesis was intriguing though a little simplistic and not entirely original.
We as westerners sure do have an obsession with breaking everything down into nice little neat packages so they can be better classified and studied. That is both the strength and weakness of this book. If only cultures and civilizations were so easy to just lump people together under one stereotype wow that would make the world much more predictable than it is. Alas the world i A pretty decent book. Alas the world is full of cultures, sub-cultures and counter-cultures within each civilization and so it is a little more complex.
This also has deep implications when it comes to foreign policy, if you treat every culture as homogeneous I believe you are making a grave mistake, especially if those sub-cultures or counter-cultures could be possible allies or enemies.
There are so many examples of this: Saudi Arabia - Wahhabis vs. House of Saud, both Muslim one ally other enemy. Religious right vs. Moderate to secular Iran, one hates us the other likes western culture. Kurds -like us, Sunnis-mixed between hate and like, Shiite - Mix between like and hate.
I give these examples since Huntington's thesis argues that Muslim culture is the most prone to violence and thus the most dangerous.
But the list goes on and on including even the US with the basic division of conservative and liberal which is even blurry at times.
I guess I don't like that Huntington is basically creating a similar myopic world view that the US had during the cold war when the world was easily divided into three camps and all the disastrous foreign policy that followed as a result. The world is not black and white. It is not meant to be so easily divided and doing so I believe is creating a dangerously false paradigm of the world.
In how analytical deep and see historic large cannot be overlooked at all, Samuel Huntington displays axes and adversaries of the global conflicts, especially during the Cold War and beyond , offering some special characteristics from those cultures or civilizations conflicting or opposing , or even those allied and called influential, and digressions to highlight the cultural and civilizational side and superior influence on which side is willing to civilization to which he belongs, and the accusation and the attack on those that hated , armed with nothing of self-criticism for his own " West " so characterized his speech, also of neutrality and objectivity.
But the emphasis is tried several key points, namely the goal that found for him the book: All this in a new step for the West to re- extend its control and influence new way according to the requirements of the current circumstances of the fall and the collapse of authority and influence in front of international changes and rising powers in the East, and through the restructuring of distribution of global cultures and reshape the map of the world political order to prevent the emergence of civilization sublime new with different cultures in the crucible of one civilization.
Mar 10, Mark rated it liked it Shelves: Huntington challenged my thinking on several issues: Culture at the macro, or "civilizational" level plays a fundamental role in global politics - including conflict. In fact, it plays a more enduring role than ideology. Western culture isn't necessarily destined to become universal I admit that I believed - and still do sometimes - otherwise , in fact, Western civilization is in fact in decline based on several measures such as population, wealth, political, and military influence.
Confl Huntington challenged my thinking on several issues: Conflicts are less likely to be resolved when they are between civilizations that don't have a "core state. These are just three of Mr. Huntington's ideas that challenged my assumptions and my "paradigm" about the world and armed conflict. I don't think the author gives enough credit to societies that really do seem to be functioning as cultural melting pots - like the United States - or even the experience of peoples who change on a civilizational level.
Summary of "The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order"
He doesn't address how civilizational culture changes and develops - he mainly points out it's near primacy in conflict. I was challenged by this book, therefore I loved it! The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is that the author's premise begged some questions that he didn't address such as the one I already mentioned about how civilizations develop and change.
What exactly is this process and can a civilization consciously change itself? He lifts up Kemal Attaturk's Turkey as an example of fundamental cultural shifts being nearly impossible. But, I want to know what role incremental change plays. What role in modern Hindu civilization did Western culture play? Likewise, is Attaturk's Turkey really an example of failed civilizational realignment?
I have to believe that deep cultural values can change. I do believe that in fact, western culture is superior in many ways but by no means all ways to more traditional cultures. Especially when it comes to equality for women and minorities, rule of law, property rights, and other fundamental western civilizational ideals. However, I now realize that my belief isn't self evident to the rest of the world and that in fact, my civilizational culture isn't destined to be adopted by the world.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book because of the insights provided, the challenge to my thinking it caused, and the burning questions it begs.
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Certainly Huntington's views are a valuable and have some demonstrable explanatory power. Just as certainly, he isn't the final word on the subject and his insights may help us form questions, shape policies, and frame issues in ways that will help us to navigate our way in a world where Western Civilization is no longer ascendent. Aug 04, Jacob Aitken rated it it was amazing Shelves: It is awesome. He argues or at least the structure of his thought necessarily suggests such that the utopian vision of liberal democracy whether right or left-wing has failed miserably and that societies will revert back to their original civilizational paradigms.
By that he doesn't mean that societies will simply turn back the clock. Rather, the civilizations from which nation-states emerged have a stronger pull upon the states that some post- should have picked up Huntingdon's work earlier. Rather, the civilizations from which nation-states emerged have a stronger pull upon the states that some post-Enlightenment view of "democratic capitalism. Huntingdon lists several civilizations: China, Southeast Asia, and India.
I realize that India could legitimately be a separate civilization and I believe it is , but I'm listing it under China for several reasons: Most of the Middle East and all of northern Africa. Malaysia and Indonesia are also Islamic, but they will be subsumed under China in terms of influence. One caveat: I do not believe the Islamic civilization can be delineated the way Huntingdon portrays it.
Subcontinent; northern Africa is distinct from area below Sudan. Russia is the de facto leader of this civilization, given her wealth, size, and influence. Includes eastern Ukraine, Belarus, most of the Balkans. I think the Middle East is in an identity crisis between Fundamentalism and Nationalism. Islamic countries like Syria and Turkey, for all of their problems, lean closer to nationalism than "jihadism.
Samuel Huntingdon's Clash of Civilizations. It was truly the work of a genius. Huntingdon is too pro-D. Civilizations assume the reality of objective cultures, but they are not identical to culture s. I can't remember exactly how SH defines civilization.
There is an extended discussion on pp. Frankly, I don't think his definition, if any, is really that important. His book deals more with the empirical identity and clash of civilizations, rather than objectively defining them. Civilizations have core states: For example, Russia is the core state of the Orthodox civilization which includes Ukraine, Belarus, and the Balkans, though the latter are compromised by their membership in NATO; likewise, China is the core st ate of the East Asian civilization, excluding Japan.
Wars between actual core states of civilizations are quite rare. However, fault line wars are quite common. The obvious example is the Balkans: For example, an old joke in former Soviet Union: Pros of the book: His analysis is top-notch.
We are reading a world-class scholar. He calls the Islamic threat for what it is. He is notorious for his famous "The borders of Islam are bloody. Yeah, it might be mean and bigoted, but look at the major hot spots of the world today--what religion is causing most of the trouble?
In at the time of the writing 49 of the world's 58 current conflicts had Islam involved.
If it looks like a duck He gives an accurate though extremely dated analysis of the Balkan Wars of the s. Of course, a lot of his musings are moot considering NATO's bombing of civilians in Belgrade in Still, per his thesis on civilizational clash on fault lines, he does a stellar performance. When Serbs execute 8, men in the 28th Bosnian Muslim infantry, it is because they are evil and genocidal.
Along similar lines is the Turko-Armenian-Azeri wars of the s. During the Cold War the Soviet leadership had Armenians serving in high-rank positions and being trained by elite special forces.
When the USSR fell, the Armenian military, keeping the Motorized Rifle divisions of that region, had a fairly impressive, if small, military. Russian intervention in the s kept her smaller sister Armenia from being overrun by Muslims. And these are just two examples. Huntingdon ends with a fairly interesting scenario on what WW3 will look like and how it will start.
A few qualms with the book: Ironically, Huntingdon had argued that doing so would actually make America lose the next world war, which will be a clash between a Chinese or Islamic or both civilization. Huntingdon didn't write many more books after this. He had a high standard of writing and actually threw away many top-notch manuscripts because they weren't good enough.
Too bad, for he is definitely worth reading. Dec 07, Rodney Harvill rated it it was amazing Shelves: This book was written in , a few years after the end of the Cold War, and introduced a world order paradigm based on conflict between civilizations as opposed to ideologies such as capitalism vs communism.
The material is obviously dated, but the author made some good points to consider. The use in the book of the break-up of Yugoslavia and the resulting civil war between Catholic Croatians, Orthodox Serbs and Islamic Bosnians got my attention. I had spent several months in cruising u This book was written in , a few years after the end of the Cold War, and introduced a world order paradigm based on conflict between civilizations as opposed to ideologies such as capitalism vs communism.
I had spent several months in cruising up and down the Adriatic while my ship's air wing was enforcing the Bosnia no-fly zone. The author used this as a case study in civilization clash. In general, western Europe backed the Croatians. Russia and Greece backed the Serbs, and the Islamic world backed the Bosnians. The one outlier was the U. Huntington had provoked a firestorm of protest by documenting that the one civilization out of Western, Orthodox, Sino, Japanese, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, African and Latin American that was clashing the most with its neighbors was Islamic.
I don't believe the years since have provided any evidence to debunk his assertion. He is a white Western guy who is proud and ready to defend their Western ideals. And, I am a non-Western Muslim guy who is also proud and ready to defend my ideals.
Does that makes both of us xenophobic, fascist and warmongers? Everybody tends to fall into one of the two extreme poles, but mankind is vast and rich enough to have both of the poles.
His thesis is this; that the future international policies and conflicts would be on the civilizational level, instead of national or ideological. An apt example showing the application for his model is that of his prediction on the Ukraine-Russian conflict. He predicted that Ukraine would be a cleft country, a termed he bestowed on a nation torn between two civilizations.
But, the thing with human prediction is, it works for few, but not to many. At the end of the book, he offered few pages of fully-fledged intercivilizational war beginning with Chinese invasion into Vietnam. I think it is these pages that triggered the people to unfairly label him as a warmonger, scaremonger etc. Yet, the setting of the war would be at and at present, , no such calamity is around the corner.
Maybe, in the future, who knows? If he really a Western idolizer he perhaps would affirm with no hesitation that Westernization is a prerequisite for modernization.
This book, after all, are an exposition arguing from civilizational approach. If he is to propose that Western ideals is the sole savior of humankind while retaining in the earlier parts that modernity was only known by the West as only a part of its history rather than its inherent characteristic, he would commit himself in gross contradiction.
He ends the part with concluding that Westernization is not the prerequisite of modernization, as shown by Japan and the rest.
The chapter "le revanche de dieu" commenting on the phenomenon of religious revival in current times. The author realizes and takes into account that the phenomenon of religious revival was not a frantic fanatic movement, but really a response from a meaning-seeking urban population.
However, there are precise points where he started to turn, rather unfairly to Muslims. Persuasive events are offered such as the unity of the Muslim world against the West in the Gulf War. People in Malaysia, for an instance, are much more moderate, while their counterparts in tribal Afghanistan are much more strict-even beyond necessary-, even in interpreting the same verse of the Quran.
He himself said that Islam is a way of life and so Muslims should therefore engaging their everyday lives with Islamic practice and doctrines. His frequent mentions of riots and violence occurring between Muslim Malays and Chinese in Malaysia sounded like it really is frequent. We derive theories in order to make an order from all of these entropy and anarchy. I have been meaning to get around to this book for awhile. It is certainly influential.
Some of schema of differing civilizations has some truth and modernization is nor westernization. However with grand theories like declines of the West or clashes of civilizations they too simplistic and worse yet too polarizing.
But such books and I have been meaning to get around to this book for awhile. But such books and their popularity seem inevitable. Oct 12, Aashish rated it it was amazing. I found this book seminal in its content and coverage for three key reasons: The applicability of the ideas and the constructs of the author are valid 20 years later. In fact many of the civilizational fault lines the author covers are manifesting as is 2 decades hence. Very rarely however it is possible to rate a text based on its brilliant standing to future scrutiny.
Although not every global foreign event can be explained in the context of civilizations, this book helps create a good mind map of loosely and closely connected states.
This is already playing out in the Middle East in the form of ISIS conquests and one can almost apply the arguments mentioned in the book in their entirety to this conflict. The author has put in great stress in explaining how the Islamic civilization is different from and at loggerheads with all other historical civilizations.
The detailing offered covers areas like victimhood narrative, primacy of violence inherent to the religion in this case and an expansionist tendency matching with universality concept is brilliant. Several of these issues keep getting swept under the carpet in the name of political correctness in modern literature and contemporary societies. Other than calling this caliphate-sultanate duality and overlap, the author also talks about subjects like Balkanization, emergence of South Sudan, the division of Ukraine and the likely Crimean affinity to Russia triggering conflicts - all of them have played out in the last few years.
The emerging alignments among the civilizations that the author describes is a great summary for the book. One can already see global political developments along those lines.
There are a few disappointments too - the author has overly stressed routine events of the 90s as those which are fundamental to civilizational alignments. These are events like political statements, tactical war aids, government formations in democracies and so on.
The concept of the world order being remade per civilizational lines is far broader and far reaching than these events represent. Forcing or explaining its applicability in the limited context of a few years or even a decade seems stretched. This or related points have been highlighted in the several negative reviews - though many of them came before the current Ukrainian and ISIS crises. Another area was the way the book is summarized - the author takes a Western view and analyses what Western civilization means and needs to do to survive over a period of time.
This analysis in itself is fine, but the author misses the chance to end the book on a high - by describing a broader world order - possibilities and probabilities. Overall, this is a fascinating piece of work which may become increasingly relevant as the world grapples with the rise of Islamic hegemony and as the economics of the world continues to becomes increasingly Sinic.
Some books, classified as great when written, lose steam over a period of time. This one seems to be traversing the reverse path. I have found that political works—especially those suffused with predictions of future world events—simply do not age well. Huntington's central thesis that the post-Cold war order will be drawn along cultural and social lines remains relevant to modern 21st century politics.
But I was irked by many of his forecasts. For example, he predicted that Mandarin would replace English as a lingua franca for the new age. Given the enormous population of China it's not easy to see why this is a fairly unr I have found that political works—especially those suffused with predictions of future world events—simply do not age well. Given the enormous population of China it's not easy to see why this is a fairly unreasonable stance.
Mandarin Chinese is spoken by 1.
Many still believe Mandarin will become the global language at some distant point in the future, but Huntington did argue that the use of English would gradually erode as a medium across cultures. I consider this improbable. He also claimed there would be a decline in Western military spending. In inflation-adjusted dollars, U. In , U. This is the largest noticeable decline of U.
This error is pardonable since—at the time this book was being written—U. In contemporary American politics few would argue that the U. In my opinion, this would be a fairly absurd stance.
I believe it is very difficult to accurately predict future events based on present realities. The most pernicious element of predictive works is their frequent adoption of a framework of inevitability. To distinguish prevailing trends from persisting geopolitical structures is a demanding task. Global politics is in constant flux. Using inevitability to gauge the future world order is ultimately a weak position.
May 18, Vaso rated it did not like it. Huntington refers to the post-Cold War era in his hypothesis that cultural differences in our international society will lead to conflict. He comments on the importance of borders among nation states and perpetuates the realist notion that cultural differences can only lead to conflict. Instead of embracing the differences that unite us, he states that some actors are bound to be more powerful, hence conflict is inevitable.
This statement incorrectly assumes that cultural values and traditions are innate and non-fluid. While this might be a valid point, it does not consequently account for his belief that there will be a power hierarchy, which will lead to conflict. The world does not inherently center around a constant quest for power. Moreover, Huntington creates a divide among the West and what he considers to be the non-West. Ultimately, he divides our entire world into two categories, with the West being the predominant one.
He commits a fallacy by such generalizations and this demonstrates his distorted definition of the concept of civilization. He states that divisions are natural without showing any actual evidence for this stream of consciousness. His imperialistic viewpoint ignores institutions other than religion that shape what he considers to be cultural identity. Jul 21, Seth rated it really liked it. The thesis was so simple it was as if I had always believed it but I was unfair to take credit for assuming the simplicity was something that I had synthesized prior to reading the book.
Huntington, clarifies what seems so obvious.
That the world clusters by civilizational boundaries. People tend to fight with or against one another based upon multiple cultural factors that make up one's civilizational heritage rather than superficial borders created by a nation state. Thus, Democracy and Commun The thesis was so simple it was as if I had always believed it but I was unfair to take credit for assuming the simplicity was something that I had synthesized prior to reading the book.
Thus, Democracy and Communism are not the most dispositive factors to predict a conflict, rather, religion, language, and ethnicity are much more likely to inform the degree of conflict. I found the author's research on Islam's "bloody borders" to be especially fascinating. Before reading, I believed that ideologies informed a countries liklihood to enter conflicts. Specifically, that democratic capitalist nations play nice because they trade together. Therefore, spreading an ideology of capitalism and democracy is a just policy objective for the United States and the "West".
However, Huntington convinces me that it is futile and possibly immoral to impose western ideologies on other civilizations. There are multiple nuances about modernity, the western imperative of universal values, and the future of global power discussed here that are worthy of the read.
Dec 01, Carolina Liechtenstein rated it really liked it Shelves: This book seems a bit right wing in nature, and anti multiculturalist. It draws a very gloomy picture of how western civilization is going into decline, and how people will get maimed, enslaved and tortured by emerging less civilized hordes.
This may not be far from the truth if we, as humankind, fail to continue to advance in education and opportunity. Huntington draws a bleak picture without fully citing other outcomes for western civilization. The central theme of this book is that culture and cultural identities, which at the broadest level are civilization identities, are shaping the patterns of cohesion, disintegration, and conflict in the post-Cold War world.
The five parts of this book elaborate corollaries to this main proposition. Part I: For the first time in history global politics is both multipolar and multicivilizational; modernization is distinct from Westernization and is producing neither a universal civilization in any meaningful sense nor the Westernization of non-Western societies.
Part II: The balance of power among civilizations is shifting: Part III: A civilization-based world order is emerging: Part IV: Part V: The survival of the West depends on Americans reaffirming their Western identity and Westerners accepting their civilization as unique not universal and uniting to renew and preserve it against challenges from non-Western societies.
Avoidance of a global war of civilizations depends on world leaders accepting and cooperating to maintain the multicivilizational character of global politics.
During most of human existence, contacts between civilizations were intermittent or nonexistent. Then, with the beginning of the modern era, about A. For over four hundred years, the nation states of the West — Britain, France, Spain, Austria, Prussia, Germany, the United States, and others — constituted a multipolar international system within Western civilization and interacted, competed, and fought wars with each other. At the same time, Western nations also expanded, conquered, colonized, or decisively influenced every other civilization Map 1.
During the Cold War global politics became bipolar and the world was divided into three parts. A group of mostly wealthy and democratic societies, led by the United States, was engaged in a pervasive ideological, political, economic, and, at times, military competition with a group of somewhat poorer communist societies associated with and led by the Soviet Union. Much of this conflict occurred in the Third World outside these two camps, composed of countries which often were poor, lacked political stability, were recently independent, and claimed to be nonaligned Map 1.
In the late s the communist world collapsed, and the Cold War international system became history. In the post-Cold War world, the most important distinctions among peoples are not ideological, political, or economic. They are cultural. Peoples and nations are attempting to answer the most basic question humans can face: Who are we? And they are answering that question in the traditional way human beings have answered it, by reference to the things that mean most to them.
People define themselves in terms of ancestry, religion, language, history, values, customs, and institutions. They identify with cultural groups: People use politics not just to advance their interests but also to define their identity.
We know who we are only when we know who we are not and often only when we know whom we are against.
Nation states remain the principal actors in world affairs. Their behavior is shaped as in the past by the pursuit of power and wealth, but it is also shaped by cultural preferences, commonalities, and differences. Non-Western societies, particularly in East Asia, are developing their economic wealth and creating the basis for enhanced military power and political influence.
In this new world, local politics is the politics of ethnicity; global politics is the politics of civilizations. The rivalry of the superpowers is replaced by the clash of civilizations. About The Author. Photo Credit: Product Details. Raves and Reviews. Resources and Downloads. Get a FREE e-book by joining our mailing list today!Huntingdon is too pro-D.
Who Are We?: How scary indeed. It was truly the work of a genius. Huntington was the Albert J. That is, he ascribed to traits qualities that are actually determined by context. Samuel Huntington laid out his analysis of conflicts in the Post Cold War world in his article in The Global Politics of Civilizations". But before that, we need to fight terror, terror, terror and build more aircrafts, missiles, military bases and bomb the shit out of them if necessary.
Since the human mind often prefers such simple explanations over more There is no doubt that this is a must-read if you are interested in global politics.