The Clash of Civilizations: The Debate - Samuel Huntington

Samuel P. Huntington, “The Clash of Civilizations,” Foreign Affairs. Summer 1993, v72, n3, p22 (28)

“In the emerging world of ethnic conflict and civilizational clash, Western belief in the universality of Western culture suffers three problems: it is false; it is immoral; and it is dangerous. That it is false has been the central thesis of this book, a thesis well summed up by : the ‘common Western assumption that cultural diversity is a historical curiosity being rapidly eroded by the growth of a common, Western oriented, Anglophone world culture, shaping our basic values… is simply not true.’ The reader not by now convinced of the wisdom of Sir Michael’s remark exists in a world far removed from that described in this book.”

Samuel Huntington died five years ago, but the often furious arguments that his thesis inspired can still be heard now and again. And this summer, Foreign Affairs, which is published by the Council on Foreign Relations, marked the 20th anniversary with an issue that collected many of the writings - pro and con - that have clashed over the "Clash of Civilization."

It was 20 years ago that Samuel Huntington's essay on what he termed "the clash of civilizations" was first published in the journal Foreign Affairs. The essay predicted the next frontier of global conflict would occur along cultural cleavages — most prominently between the Islamic world and the West. Foreign Affairs editor Gideon Rose and Robert Siegel discuss how perceptions of the essay have changed over time.

P. Huntington published his famous essay The Clash of Civilizations in the Huntington thesis as saying that And Huntington explains why.

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I’m reading Samuel Huntington’s, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, 1996. It seemed like an appropriate subject to engage at this time of rapid reorientation of power structures within America. On the strong possibility that any comment I might have on such a grand subject would involve inserting one or both feet in my mouth, I will take my time with this subject. Meanwhile, check out Kissinger’s recent essay, .

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Political scientist Samuel P. Huntington has argued that the defining characteristic of the twenty-first century will be a "clash of civilizations." According to Huntington, conflicts between civilizations will supplant the conflicts between nation-states and ideologies that characterized the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Samuel P Huntingtons Clash of Civilizations Essay

But we are all swimming in those waters, Westerners and Muslims and others alike. And since the waters are part of the ocean of history, trying to plow or divide them with barriers is futile. These are tense times, but it is better to think in terms of powerful and powerless communities, the secular politics of reason and ignorance, and universal principles of justice and injustice, than to wander off in search of vast abstractions that may give momentary satisfaction but little self-knowledge or informed analysis. "The Clash of Civilizations" thesis is a gimmick like "The War of the Worlds," better for reinforcing defensive self-pride than for critical understanding of the bewildering interdependence of our time.

Huntington clash of civilizations essay

The barrage of criticism leveled at Samuel Huntington's notion of a "clash of civilizations"17 in no way lessens the vital point he made—that however much the grouping of peoples by religion and culture rather than political or economic divisions offends academics who propound a world defined by class, race, and gender, it is a reality, one not diminished by modern communications.