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Clash of Civilizations

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Sherifa Amin

on 2 February 2016

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Transcript of Clash of Civilizations

Clash of Civilizations
The Next Pattern of Conflict
The new phase of world politics
New Era post Cold War (post 1991)
Conflicts will not be ideological or economic
New divisions between people will be:
States will remain the most powerful actors
Multipolar international system
(UK, France, Germany, US)
(expanded, fought, colonized others)
(kings and their armies fought others for territory, resources)
(ex: World Wars I and II)

Bipolar system
(US and USSR)
(competed ideologically, economically, politically)
(ex: Cold War)

Unipolar world
(distinctions are not ideological or political, but cultural)

People define themselves by history, values, customs, religion, ethnicities
Conflicts, wars and violence will be because of
cultural differences
, not economical or ideological differences
Ex: the common culture of EU member states
The West remains the most powerful civilization.
1) Think about all the things that make you who you are. Then in a few sentences, identify yourself.
2) Why is the division of the world this way so problematic?
3) To what extent do Huntington’s “civilizations” have different/similar identities?
4) Why is "they" the most racist word in the English language?
Originally the opposite of "barbarism". Civilized society was settled, urban and literate
Broadest level of grouping
Common language, history, religions, customs and institutions
19th century European scholars had a single standard for what was civilized European.
Most important element of defining civilizations
People with common ethnicity/language but different religion may clash (Ex: Lebanon, Yugoslavia)
A civilization is not a state. They may have many (in different forms of government)
Common culture of China and communities of Southeast Asia, Vietnam and Korea
Major component is Confucianism
All of the subcontinent, even though it has "a substantial Muslim community as well as several smaller cultural minorities"
Seen as a different civilization from the Sinic one, having emerged 100-400 A.D
The only civilization that is its own state
Because Islam expanded from Asia to North Africa to Spain, there are many cultures within Islam (Arab, Turkic, Persian, Malay)
Centered in Russia. Did not experience the Renaissance, Reformation, Enlightenment and other
"Western experiences"
Latin American
Only Catholic, contains indigenous people, slower political & economic evolution

The West
Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand
Western Christendom
North Africa belongs to the Islamic civilization
European colonizers brought Christianity and their languages
Tribes in Africa still play a role in African identity
The West vs. The Rest
The Power of the West:

West & non-Western civilizations: It's Complicated
Western and Western societies: Married
Common culture, trade, languages, religion, law, agriculture, administrative practice
(Despite the fact that Europeans fought each other for thousands of years)
Even when the Ottoman Empire controlled 1/4 of Europe, they were never a member of the European international system
Western culture is usually interpreted in accordance with preexisting values & perceptions
Can trigger opposing perceptions on the West
Denounce Western domination and cultural imperialism & try to preserve their own cultures.
"With the end of the Cold War, international politics moves out of its Western phase, and its centerpiece becomes the interaction between the West and non-Western civilizations and among non-Western civilizations.

In the politics of civilizations, the peoples and government of non-Western civiliations no longer remain the objects of history as targets of Western colonialism but join the West as movers and shapers of history" (page 23)
The Nature of Civilizations
Why Civilizations WILL Clash
Different religions different views on individuals/the state different views on rights, liberty and equality

Civilization consciousness awareness of similarities and differences

Modernization has created a gap that religious fundamentalism has been trying to fill

The rise of the West spread of Western culture, habits and styles

Religion is much harder to change than ideology

Economic regonialism common cultures establish economic relations (ex: EU)
Cross Out
"The Fault Line Between Civilizations"
pages 29-35
"Civilization Rallying: The Kin-Country Sydnrome"
pages 35-39
Opponents have disappeared
Military power unrivaled
Dominates political and (with Asia) economic institutions
UN decisions reflect Western interests (with occasional vetoes)
Main sources of conflict:
Differences in
Differences in
For example: Western ideas of liberalism, human rights, democracy & secularism vs. Confucian, Hindu, Buddhism, Islamic teachings

Responses from non-Western civilizations:
Isolate to protect their countries from "Western corruption"
Modernize, but not Westernize. Develop economic & military power but preserve native values
Torn Countries
Divided over which civilization they belong to
Leaders want their countries to join the "West", but their history and culture is non-Western
Turkey, Mexico & Russia
To redefine its civilization identity, a torn country must:
Elites must be supportive about move
Public must be willing
Dominant groups in receipient civilization must be willing to embrace the convert

Cross Out "The Confucian-Islamic Connections" pages 45-48
Implications for the West
Civilization consciousness will increase
Civilizational conflicts (not ideological) will dominate
Non-Western civilizations will become key actors in IR
Conflicts across civilizations will lead to global war
World politics will be "The West vs The Rest"
Elites in torn non-Western countries will try to make their countries part of the West
The West should
On the
short term
prevent inter-civilization conflicts/limit strength of Confucian & Islamic states/maintain military superiority
On the
long term
accomdate non-Western civilizations trying to modernize/maintain power to protect its interests/understand religions of other civilizations
Full transcript