Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol.1, No.2, Summer 2002
The ‘Clash of Civilizations’: Revisited after September 11Engin I. Erdem*
The dissolution of the Soviet Union not only ended the Cold War era but also itterminated simplistic understanding of world politics, which was dominant during this time. Thebloc mentality of the Cold War has no longer provided an outlook to delineate the picture of thenew period. By the end of the Cold War, henceforth, students of international relations havewitnessed several ‘contending images of world politics’
. The images are basically concernedwith redefining the newly emerging world politics. Interestingly, all of these images originate inthe West and in the United States in particular.
The linkage is in fact significant as itdemonstrates knowledge-power relationship in international relations. Of these ‘western’ imagesof world politics, especially Francis Fukayama’s the ‘End of History’
and Samuel P.Huntington’s the ‘Clash of Civilizations?’ have earned utmost attention. In contrast toFukayama’s optimistic vision of future, Huntington has called forth World War III that stemsfrom clash of civilizations.
He predicts that ‘fundamental’ differences among the seven or eightmajor civilizations will more likely pave way to global turmoil in years to come.This paper, aims at revisiting the ‘clash of civilizations’ thesis in post-September 11world, is consisted of six parts. After introductory section, second section will deal withHuntington’s arguments, which take place in his article, book, and his respond to the criticisms.In the third part, seven categories of criticisms on Huntington’s thesis will take place. Then, the