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The Clash of Civilizations

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Avery Steinberg

on 10 October 2012

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Transcript of The Clash of Civilizations

Who is Huntington? -Born in New York in 1927
-Served in Army, attended Yale, University of Chicago, and Ph.D at Harvard
-Influential American Conservative political scientist The Hypothesis
The Clash Occurs at Two Levels: Samuel Huntington,
Foreign Affairs, Summer 1993 The Clash Of Civilizations? - "

"It is my hypothesis that the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. Nation states will remain the most powerful actors in world affairs, but the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations. The clash of civilizations will dominate global politics. The fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future." Micro-level: groups caught on the line between civilizations struggle for territory and control
Macro-level: states compete for military and economic power and control over institutions to promote their cultures

"the most far-reaching problems arise no longer between nations within a single civilization but between civilizations themselves." "The West and the Rest"
What Is A Civilization? "the highest cultural grouping of people and the broadest level of cultural identity people have short of that which distinguishes humans from other species." Islam vs the West Huntington: Realist? Defined by common objective elements (history, religion)

Defined by subjective elements (self-identification) Says west is using international institutions, military power, and economic resources to run the world in ways that will maintain Western dominance, protect Western interests and promote Western political and economic values. Says that Islamic civilization will try to take away this power eventually “For the relevant future, there will be no universal civilization, but instead a world of different civilizations, each of which will have to learn to coexist with the others.” Critiques: Realist thinking in which "states" become replaced by "civilizations? 1. Can you transfer the realist logic of the balance of power to “civilizations” ?
Do you agree with his definition of civilizations? Idea of an unceasing and inevitable clash Sweeping characterizations 2. Fukuyama thought liberal democracy had finally won over all other ideologies, literally putting an end to the history seen as a process of confrontations between ideologies. Which theory do you agree with, and why? Was this theory proven by September 11th? Assumes that civilizations are fixed over time
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