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Huntington - The Clash of Civilizations (1996) - Synopsis

Huntington - The Clash of Civilizations (1996) - Synopsis

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Published by Mark K. Jensen
Synopsis of Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (New York, London, Toronto, and Sydney: Simon & Schuster, 1996; paperback 2002). Discussed at Digging Deeper (www.ufppc.org) on August 14, 2006.
Synopsis of Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (New York, London, Toronto, and Sydney: Simon & Schuster, 1996; paperback 2002). Discussed at Digging Deeper (www.ufppc.org) on August 14, 2006.

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UFPPC (www.ufppc.org) Digging Deeper: August 14, 2006, 7:00 p.m.
Samuel P. Huntington,
The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order 
(New York, London, Toronto, and Sydney: Simon & Schuster, 1996;paperback 2002).
Themes:
“Alone among civilizations theWest has had a major and at timesdevastating impact on every othercivilization. The relation between thepower and culture of the West and thepower and cultures of other civilizationsis, as a result, the most pervasivecharacteristic of the world of civilizations. As the relative power of other civilizations increases, the appealof Western culture fades and non-Western peoples have increasingconfidence in and commitment to theirindigenous cultures. The centralproblem in the West’s—particularlyAmerica’s—efforts to promote auniversal Western culture is itsdeclining ability to do so” (184).
Thesis:
“In the emerging era, clashesof civilizations are the greatest threat toworld peace, and an international worldorder based on civilizations is the surestsafeguard against world war” (321).
List of Illustrations: Tables, Figures,Maps.Preface.
This book is not meant to besocial science, but rather “aninterpretation of the evolution of globalpolitics after the Cold War” (13). Itshould be tested by “whether it providesa more meaningful and useful lens . . .than any alternative paradigm” (14). These ideas were first expressed publiclyin an Oct. 1992 lecture at the AmericanEnterprise Institute (14). Ms. readersincluded Fareed Zakaria (14). Writing of the book funded by the John M. OlinFoundation and the Smith RichardsonFoundation (15).
I. A WORLD OF CIVILIZATIONSCh. 1: The New Era in World Politics.I
NTRODUCTION
: F
LAGS
 
AND
C
ULTURAL
 
IDENTITY 
.
“[C]ultural identity is what is mostmeaningful to most people” (20). Thisbook’s main proposition: “that cultureand cultural identities, which at thebroadest level are civilization identities,are shaping the patterns of cohesion,disintegration, and conflict in the post-Cold War world” (20). Five corollaries:(1) “For the first time in history globalpolitics is both multipolar andmulticivilizational; modernization isdistinct from Westernization and isproducing neither a universal civilizationin any meaningful sense nor theWesternization of non-Western societies”(20). (2) The power of the West is inrelative decline (20). (3) A civilization-based world order is emerging” (20). (4)“The West’s universalist pretensionsincreasingly bring it into conflict withother civilizations, most seriously withIslam and China” (20). (5) “The survivalof the West depends on Americansreaffirming their Western identity andWesterners accepting their civilization asunique not universal” (20-21).
AM
ULTIPOLAR
, M
ULTICIVILIZATIONAL
W
ORLD
.
Historical review; three maps (1920,1960s, post-1990) (21-28).“The post-ColdWar world is a world of seven or eightmajor civilizations” (29).
O
THER
W
ORLDS
?
Paradigms are essential and unavoidable(citing Thomas Kuhn and others) (29-31).Fukuyama’s “end of history” thesisrepresented a moment of euphoric belief in post-Cold War harmony (31-32). Atwo-world us-and-them model is “always”a temptation (32-33). The “realist”model of international relations proposesa 184-state model (33-35). Anarchy asmodel (35).
C
OMPARING
W
ORLDS
: R
EALISM
,P
ARSIMONY 
,
AND
P
REDICTIONS
.
Comparingparadigms (36). A 7- or 8-civilization
 
model is superior to the others and fitsmany 1993 events (37-39).
Ch. 2: Civilizations in History andToday.
 
T
HE
N
ATURE
 
OF
C
IVILIZATIONS
.
Scholars of civilization (40). Civilizationis a plural concept; a singular concept“cannot be sustained” (40-41). OutsideGerman, civilization is a cultural concept,composed of blood, language, way of life,and, especially, religion (41-42).Civilizations are comprehensive: Acivilization is a ‘totality’”; however, theyhave no clear-cut boundaries in space ortime, and they can “interact and overlap”(42-43; cf. “Civilizations are the ultimatehuman tribes, and the clash of civilizations is tribal conflict on a globalscale” [207]). They are long-lived butmortal, and they evolve (43-44). Theyare not political and do not performgovernmental functions (44). Despitedisagreement on how many civilizationshave existed, “the identity of the majorcivilizations is not contested.‘Reasonable agreement’ . . . exists on atleast twelve major civilizations, seven of which no longer exist (Mesopotamian,Egyptian, Cretan, Classical, Byzantine,Middle American, Andean) and five whichdo (Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Islamic,and Western)” (44-45). Review of contemporary entities to whichHuntington accords the status of civilization: Sinic; Japanese; Hindu;Islamic; Orthodox; Western; LatinAmerican; African (possibly) (45-47).Buddhism is not associated with aparticular civilization (47-48). Rejectsconcept of Jewish civilization (48n.).
R
ELATIONS
 
AMONG
C
IVILIZATIONS
.
Encountersbefore A.D. 1500 (48-50). The rise of theWest (50-53). As the West declinesrelatively, the phenomena of civilization-generated religion and empire “began todisappear” (53-55).
Ch. 3: A Universal Civilization?Modernization and Westernization.U
NIVERSAL
C
IVILIZATION
: M
EANINGS
.
Nouniversal civilization, in a deep andmeaningful sense, is developing (56-59).English is not becoming the worldlanguage because “[a]s power diffuses,Babelization spreads” (59-64). Auniversal religion is unlikely to emerge(64-66).
U
NIVERSAL
C
IVILIZATION
: S
OURCES
.
“The concept of a universal civilization isa distinctive product of Westerncivilization” (66). Neither the end of theCold War, nor increased trade, nor socialpsychology augur the emergence of auniversal civilization (66-68).
T
HE
W
EST
 
AND
M
ODERNIZATION
.
“Modernizationinvolves industrialization, urbanization,increasing levels of literacy, education,wealth, and social mobilization, and morecomplex and diversified occupationalstructures. It is a product of thetremendous expansion of scientific andengineering knowledge beginning in theeighteenth century” (68). It is distinctfrom Westernization, which involves theClassical legacy, the Catholic-Protestantdichotomy, European languages,separation of spiritual and temporalauthority, the rule of law, socialpluralism, representative bodies, andindividualism, among other things (69-72).
R
ESPONSES
 
TO
 
THE
W
EST
 
AND
 M
ODERNIZATION
.
 
Rejectionism
, e.g. Japanbefore the 1850s (72-73).
Kemalism
, i.e.embrace of both modernization andWesternization, e.g. Turkey under Ataturk(73-74).
Reformism
, i.e. embrace of modernization and rejection of Westernization, the most popularresponse (74). Typically, societies havemore strongly away from Kemalism andtoward reformism over time (75-78).
II. THE SHIFTING BALANCE OFCIVILIZATIONSCh. 4: The Fading of the West:Power, Culture, and Indigenization.W
ESTERN
P
OWER
: D
OMINANCE
 
AND
D
ECLINE
.
 The power of the West is both dominantand in a slow, intermittent relativedecline (81-83). This can be measure interms of territory and populationcontrolled (84-86), economic product
 
generated (86-88), military capability(88-90). The West’s dominance willextend “well into the early decades of the twenty-first century” (90-91).
I
NDIGENIZATION
: T
HE
R
ESURGENCE
 
OF
N
ON
-W
ESTERN
C
ULTURES
.
As the West declines,other civilizations reassert their onevalues more strongly (91-95).
L
 A
 R
EVANCHE
 
DE
D
IEU
.
The global revival of religion is caused by this, and the factthat religion is fundamental to the humanneed for identity. (95-101).
Ch. 5: Economics, Demography, andthe Challenger Civilizations.
Asia andIslam exemplify these trends moststrongly (102-03).
T
HE
A
SIAN
A
FFIRMATION
.
Asian societies have gone throughvarious phases in reasserting themselves(103-05). China is experiencing a newemphasis on its culture (105-06). Japanis embracing its own distinctiveness(106-07). They share in an East Asianresurgence that values collectivism overindividualism (107-09).
T
HE
I
SLAMIC
 R
ESURGENCE
.
This is a major historicalevent that can be compared to theProtestant Reformation (109-11).Inspired by students and intellectualsand facilitated by urbanization, it hasbeen more important culturally andsocially than politically, but its politicalmanifestations are also important (111-16). Population growth is its “motorforce” (116-20).
C
HANGING
C
HALLENGES
.
Asian economic growth and Muslimpopulation growth, which will moderateas the 21
st
century goes on, are bedestabilizing forces (120-21).
III. THE EMERGING ORDER OFCIVILIZATIONSCh. 6: The Cultural Reconfigurationof Global Politics.
 
G
ROPING
 
FOR
 G
ROUPINGS
: T
HE
P
OLITICS
 
OF
I
DENTITY 
.
Because of the roots of identity,civilization is the key to politicalregrouping (125-30).
C
ULTURE
 
AND
 E
CONOMIC
C
OOPERATION
.
Regional interestsare less important (130-35).
T
HE
 S
TRUCTURE
 
OF
C
IVILIZATIONS
.
Civilizationsdevelop around
core states
, some have
lone countries
; countries can be
cleft 
(divided between civilizations) or
torn
(marked by a failed attempt at shiftingfrom one civilization to another) (135-39).
T
ORN
C
OUNTRIES
: T
HE
F
AILURE
 
OF
 C
IVILIZATION
S
HIFTING
.
Russia’s failedWesternization (139-44). Turkey’sfaltering Westernization (144-49).Mexico became a torn country in the1980s (149-51). Australia’s Asian ploy”(151-54). But torn countries produce“cultural schizophrenia” (154).
Ch. 7: Core States, ConcentricCircles, and Civilizational Order.C
IVILIZATIONS
 
AND
O
RDER
.
A multipolar,spheres-of-influence world is developing(155-57).
B
OUNDING
 
THE
W
EST
.
France andGermany are European core states (157). The West’s “eastern boundary” (158-60).Implications for the EU and NATO (160-62). The special case of Greece (162-63).
R
USSIA
 
AND
I
TS
N
EAR
A
BROAD
.
Russia isa core state creating an Orthodoxheartland with a buffer of Islamic outlierstates (163-65). Ukraine is deeplydivided (165-68).
G
REATER
C
HINA
 
AND
I
TS
 C
O
-P
ROSPERITY 
S
PHERE
.
China aims tochampion Chinese culture and resume itsregional hegemony (168-71). Taiwan willprobably become more integrated withChina (171-74).
I
SLAM
: C
ONSCIOUSNESS
 
WITHOUT
C
OHESION
.
Tribal and culturalcommitments have been more importantthan political ones (174-75). The Islamicconcept of 
ummah
(175-77). Iran,Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey aspireto be core states (177-79).
IV. CLASHES OF CIVILIZATIONSCh. 8: The West and the Rest:Intercivilizational Issues.
 
W
ESTERN
 U
NIVERSALISM
.
“What is univeralism to theWest is imperialism to the rest” (184).“Double standards in practice are theunavoidable price of universal standardsof principle” (184). Islam and China arethe principal “challenger civilizations”

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