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World politics is entering a new phase, and intellectals ha!e not hesitated to proli"erate !isions o" what it will #e$$
the end o" histor%, the retrn o" traditional ri!alries #etween nation states, and the decline o" the nation state "ro&
the con"licting plls o" tri#alis& and glo#alis&, a&ong others' Each o" these !isions catches aspects o" the
e&erging realit%' (et the% all &iss a crcial, indeed a central, aspect o" what glo#al politics is li)el% to #e in the
co&ing %ears'
It is &% h%pothesis that the "nda&ental sorce o" con"lict in this new world will not #e pri&aril% ideological or
pri&aril% econo&ic' The great di!isions a&ong h&an)ind and the do&inating sorce o" con"lict will #e cltral'
Nation states will re&ain the &ost power"l actors in world a""airs, #t the principal con"licts o" glo#al politics will
occr #etween nations and grops o" di""erent ci!ili*ations' The clash o" ci!ili*ations will do&inate glo#al politics'
The "alt lines #etween ci!ili*ations will #e the #attle lines o" the "tre'
Con"lict #etween ci!ili*ations will #e the latest phase in the e!oltion o" con"lict in the &odern world' For a centr%
and a hal" a"ter the e&ergence o" the &odern international s%ste& with the Peace o" Westphalia, the con"licts o"
the Western world were largel% a&ong princes$$e&perors, a#solte &onarchs and constittional &onarchs
atte&pting to e+pand their #reacracies, their ar&ies, their &ercantilist econo&ic strength and, &ost i&portant,
the territor% the% rled' In the process the% created nation states, and #eginning with the French Re!oltion the
principal lines o" con"lict were #etween nations rather than princes' In ,-./, as R' R' Pal&er pt it, 0The wars o"
)ings were o!er1 the wars o" peoples had #egn'0 This nineteenth$ centr% pattern lasted ntil the end o" World
War ,' Then, as a reslt o" the Rssian Re!oltion and the reaction against it, the con"lict o" nations %ielded to the
con"lict o" ideologies, "irst a&ong co&&nis&, "ascis&$Na*is& and li#eral de&ocrac%, and then #etween
co&&nis& and li#eral de&ocrac%' 2ring the Cold War, this latter con"lict #eca&e e&#odied in the strggle
#etween the two sperpowers, neither o" which was a nation state in the classical Eropean sense and each o"
which de"ined its identit% in ter&s o" its ideolog%'
These con"licts #etween princes, nation states and ideologies were pri&aril% con"licts within Western ci!ili*ation,
0Western ci!il wars,0 as Willia& Lind has la#eled the&' This was as tre o" the Cold War as it was o" the world
wars and the earlier wars o" the se!enteenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centries' With the end o" the Cold War,
international politics &o!es ot o" its Western phase, and its center$ piece #eco&es the interaction #etween the
West and non$Western ci!ili*ations and a&ong non$Western ci!ili*ations' In the politics o" ci!ili*ations, the
peoples and go!ern&ents o" non$Western ci!ili*ations no longer re&ain the o#3ects o" histor% as targets o"
Western colonialis& #t 3oin the West as &o!ers and shapers o" histor%'
2ring the cold war the world was di!ided into the First, 7econd and Third Worlds' Those di!isions are no longer
rele!ant' It is "ar &ore &eaning"l now to grop contries not in ter&s o" their political or econo&ic s%ste&s or in
ter&s o" their le!el o" econo&ic de!elop&ent #t rather in ter&s o" their cltre and ci!ili*ation'
What do we &ean when we tal) o" a ci!ili*ation8 A ci!ili*ation is a cltral entit%' 5illages, regions, ethnic grops,
nationalities, religios grops, all ha!e distinct cltres at di""erent le!els o" cltral heterogeneit%' The cltre o" a
!illage in sothern Ital% &a% #e di""erent "ro& that o" a !illage in northern Ital%, #t #oth will share in a co&&on
Italian cltre that distingishes the& "ro& 9er&an !illages' Eropean co&&nities, in trn, will share cltral
"eatres that distingish the& "ro& Ara# or Chinese co&&nities' Ara#s, Chinese and Westerners, howe!er, are
not part o" an% #roader cltral entit%' The% constitte ci!ili*ations' A ci!ili*ation is ths the highest cltral
groping o" people and the #roadest le!el o" cltral identit% people ha!e short o" that which distingishes h&ans
"ro& other species' It is de"ined #oth #% co&&on o#3ecti!e ele&ents, sch as langage, histor%, religion, csto&s,
instittions, and #% the s#3ecti!e sel"$identi"ication o" people' People ha!e le!els o" identit%: a resident o" Ro&e
&a% de"ine hi&sel" with !ar%ing degrees o" intensit% as a Ro&an, an Italian, a Catholic, a Christian, a Eropean, a
Westerner' The ci!ili*ation to which he #elongs is the #roadest le!el o" identi"ication with which he intensel%
identi"ies' People can and do rede"ine their identities and, as a reslt, the co&position and #ondaries o"
ci!ili*ations change'
Ci!ili*ations &a% in!ol!e a large n&#er o" people, as with China ;0a ci!ili*ation pretending to #e a state,0 as
Lcian P%e pt it<, or a !er% s&all n&#er o" people, sch as the Anglophone Cari##ean' A ci!ili*ation &a% inclde
se!eral nation states, as is the case with Western, Latin A&erican and Ara# ci!ili*ations, or onl% one, as is the
case with =apanese ci!ili*ation' Ci!ili*ations o#!iosl% #lend and o!erlap, and &a% inclde s#ci!ili*ations'
Western ci!ili*ation has two &a3or !ariants, Eropean and North A&erican, and Isla& has its Ara#, Tr)ic and
>ala% s#di!isions' Ci!ili*ations are nonetheless &eaning"l entities, and while the lines #etween the& are
seldo& sharp, the% are real' Ci!ili*ations are d%na&ic1 the% rise and "all1 the% di!ide and &erge' And, as an%
stdent o" histor% )nows, ci!ili*ations disappear and are #ried in the sands o" ti&e'
Westerners tend to thin) o" nation states as the principal actors in glo#al a""airs' The% ha!e #een that, howe!er, "or
onl% a "ew centries' The #roader reaches o" h&an histor% ha!e #een the histor% o" ci!ili*ations' In A 7td% o"
Histor%, Arnold To%n#ee identi"ied ?, &a3or ci!ili*ations1 onl% si+ o" the& e+ist in the conte&porar% world'
Ci!ili*ation identit% will #e increasingl% i&portant in the "tre, and the world will #e shaped in large &easre #%
the interactions a&ong se!en or eight &a3or ci!ili*ations' These inclde Western, Con"cian, =apanese, Isla&ic,
Hind, 7la!ic$Orthodo+, Latin A&erican and possi#l% A"rican ci!ili*ation' The &ost i&portant con"licts o" the "tre
will occr along the cltral "alt lines separating these ci!ili*ations "ro& one another'
Wh% will this #e the case8
First, di""erences a&ong ci!ili*ations are not onl% real1 the% are #asic' Ci!ili*ations are di""erentiated "ro& each
other #% histor%, langage, cltre, tradition and, &ost i&portant, religion' The people o" di""erent ci!ili*ations ha!e
di""erent !iews on the relations #etween 9od and &an, the indi!idal and the grop, the citi*en and the state,
parents and children, hs#and and wi"e, as well as di""ering !iews o" the relati!e i&portance o" rights and
responsi#ilities, li#ert% and athorit%, e@alit% and hierarch%' These di""erences are the prodct o" centries' The%
will not soon disappear' The% are "ar &ore "nda&ental than di""erences a&ong political ideologies and political
regi&es' 2i""erences do not necessaril% &ean con"lict, and con"lict does not necessaril%, &ean !iolence' O!er the
centries, howe!er, di""erences a&ong ci!ili*ations ha!e generated the &ost prolonged and the &ost !iolent
7econd, the world is #eco&ing a s&aller place' The interactions #etween peoples o" di""erent ci!ili*ations are
increasing1 these increasing interactions intensi"% ci!ili*ation consciosness and awareness o" di""erences
#etween ci!ili*ations and co&&onalities within ci!ili*ations' North A"rican i&&igration to France generates hostilit%
a&ong French&en and at the sa&e ti&e increased recepti!it% to i&&igration #% 0good0 Eropean Catholic Poles'
A&ericans react "ar &ore negati!el% to =apanese in!est&ent than to larger in!est&ents "ro& Canada and
Eropean contries' 7i&ilarl%, as 2onald Horowit* has pointed ot, 0An I#o &a% #e ''' an Owerri I#o or an Onitsha
I#o in what was the Eastern region o" Nigeria' In Lagos, he is si&pl% an I#o' In London, he is a Nigerian' In New
(or), he is an A"rican'0 The interactions a&ong peoples o" di""erent ci!ili*ations enhance the ci!ili*ation$
consciosness o" people that, in trn, in!igorates di""erences and ani&osities stretching or thoght to stretch #ac)
deep into histor%'
Third, the processes o" econo&ic &oderni*ation and social change throghot the world are separating people
"ro& longstanding local identities' The% also wea)en the nation state as a sorce o" identit%' In &ch o" the world
religion has &o!ed in to "ill this gap, o"ten in the "or& o" &o!e&ents that are la#eled 0"nda&entalist'0 7ch
&o!e&ents are "ond in Western Christianit%, =dais&, Addhis& and Hindis&, as well as in Isla&' In &ost
contries and &ost religions the people acti!e in "nda&entalist &o!e&ents are %ong, college$edcated, &iddle$
class technicians, pro"essionals and #siness persons' The 0nseclari*ation o" the world,0 9eorge Weigel has
re&ar)ed, 0is one o" the do&inant social "acts o" li"e in the late twentieth centr%'0 The re!i!al o" religion, 0la
re!anche de 2ie,0 as 9illes Bepel la#eled it, pro!ides a #asis "or identit% and co&&it&ent that transcends
national #ondaries and nites ci!ili*ations'
Forth, the growth o" ci!ili*ation$consciosness is enhanced #% the dal role o" the West' On the one hand, the
West is at a pea) o" power' At the sa&e ti&e, howe!er, and perhaps as a reslt, a retrn to the roots pheno&enon
is occrring a&ong non$Western ci!ili*ations' Increasingl% one hears re"erences to trends toward a trning inward
and 0Asiani*ation0 in =apan, the end o" the Nehr legac% and the 0Hindi*ation0 o" India, the "ailre o" Western
ideas o" socialis& and nationalis& and hence 0re$Isla&i*ation0 o" the >iddle East, and now a de#ate o!er
Westerni*ation !erss Rssiani*ation in Aoris (eltsinCs contr%' A West at the pea) o" its power con"ronts non$
Wests that increasingl% ha!e the desire, the will and the resorces to shape the world in non$Western wa%s'
In the past, the elites o" non$Western societies were sall% the people who were &ost in!ol!ed with the West,
had #een edcated at O+"ord, the 7or#onne or 7andhrst, and had a#sor#ed Western attitdes and !ales' At the
sa&e ti&e, the poplace in non$Western contries o"ten re&ained deepl% i&#ed with the indigenos cltre'
Now, howe!er, these relationships are #eing re!ersed' A de$Westerni*ation and indigeni*ation o" elites is
occrring in &an% non$Western contries at the sa&e ti&e that Western, sall% A&erican, cltres, st%les and
ha#its #eco&e &ore poplar a&ong the &ass o" the people'
Fi"th, cltral characteristics and di""erences are less &ta#le and hence less easil% co&pro&ised and resol!ed
than political and econo&ic ones' In the "or&er 7o!iet 4nion, co&&nists can #eco&e de&ocrats, the rich can
#eco&e poor and the poor rich, #t Rssians cannot #eco&e Estonians and A*eris cannot #eco&e Ar&enians' In
class and ideological con"licts, the )e% @estion was 0Which side are %o on80 and people cold and did choose
sides and change sides' In con"licts #etween ci!ili*ations, the @estion is 0What are %o80 That is a gi!en that
cannot #e changed' And as we )now, "ro& Aosnia to the Cacass to the 7dan, the wrong answer to that
@estion can &ean a #llet in the head' E!en &ore than ethnicit%, religion discri&inates sharpl% and e+clsi!el%
a&ong people' A person can #e hal"$French and hal"$Ara# and si&ltaneosl% e!en a citi*en o" two contries' It is
&ore di""iclt to #e hal"$Catholic and hal"$>sli&'
Finall%, econo&ic regionalis& is increasing' The proportions o" total trade that were intraregional rose #etween
,.DE and ,.D. "ro& F, percent to F. percent in Erope, // percent to /- percent in East Asia, and /? percent to
/G percent in North A&erica' The i&portance o" regional econo&ic #locs is li)el% to contine to increase in the
"tre' On the one hand, sccess"l econo&ic regionalis& will rein"orce ci!ili*ation$consciosness' On the other
hand, econo&ic regionalis& &a% scceed onl% when it is rooted in a co&&on ci!ili*ation' The Eropean
Co&&nit% rests on the shared "ondation o" Eropean cltre and Western Christianit%' The sccess o" the
North A&erican Free Trade Area depends on the con!ergence now nderwa% o" >e+ican, Canadian and
A&erican cltres' =apan, in contrast, "aces di""iclties in creating a co&para#le econo&ic entit% in East Asia
#ecase =apan is a societ% and ci!ili*ation ni@e to itsel"' Howe!er strong the trade and in!est&ent lin)s =apan
&a% de!elop with other East Asian contries, its cltral di""erences with those contries inhi#it and perhaps
preclde its pro&oting regional econo&ic integration li)e that in Erope and North A&erica'
Co&&on cltre, in contrast, is clearl% "acilitating the rapid e+pansion o" the econo&ic relations #etween the
PeopleCs Rep#lic o" China and Hong Bong, Taiwan, 7ingapore and the o!erseas Chinese co&&nities in other
Asian contries' With the Cold War o!er, cltral co&&onalities increasingl% o!erco&e ideological di""erences,
and &ainland China and Taiwan &o!e closer together' I" cltral co&&onalit% is a prere@isite "or econo&ic
integration, the principal East Asian econo&ic #loc o" the "tre is li)el% to #e centered on China' This #loc is, in
"act, alread% co&ing into e+istence' As >rra% Weiden#a& has o#ser!ed,
02espite the crrent =apanese do&inance o" the region, the Chinese$#ased econo&% o" Asia is rapidl% e&erging
as a new epicenter "or indstr%, co&&erce and "inance' This strategic area contains s#stantial a&onts o"
technolog% and &an"actring capa#ilit% ;Taiwan<, otstanding entreprenerial, &ar)eting and ser!ices ac&en
;Hong Bong<, a "ine co&&nications networ) 7ingapore<, a tre&endos pool o" "inancial capital ;all three<, and
!er% large endow&ents o" land, resorces and la#or ;&ainland China<'''' Fro& 9ang*ho to 7ingapore, "ro&
Bala L&pr to >anila, this in"lential networ)$$o"ten #ased on e+tensions o" the traditional clans$$has #een
descri#ed as the #ac)#one o" the East Asian econo&%'0;,<
Cltre and religion also "or& the #asis o" the Econo&ic Cooperation Organi*ation, which #rings together ten non$
Ara# >sli& contries: Iran, Pa)istan, Tr)e%, A*er#ai3an, Ba*a)hstan, B%rg%*stan, Tr)&enistan, Tad3i)istan,
4*#e)istan and A"ghanistan' One i&pets to the re!i!al and e+pansion o" this organi*ation, "onded originall% in
the ,.GE #% Tr)e%, Pa)istan and Iran, is the reali*ation #% the leaders o" se!eral o" these contries that the% had
no chance o" ad&ission to the Eropean Co&&nit%' 7i&ilarl%, Carico&, the Central A&erican Co&&on >ar)et
and >ercosr rest on co&&on cltral "ondations' E""orts to #ild a #roader Cari##ean$Central A&erican
econo&ic entit% #ridging the Anglo$Latin di!ide, howe!er, ha!e to date "ailed'
As people de"ine their identit% in ethnic and religios ter&s, the% are li)el% to see an 0s0 !erss 0the&0 relation
e+isting #etween the&sel!es and people o" di""erent ethnicit% or religion' The end o" ideologicall% de"ined states in
Eastern Erope and the "or&er 7o!iet 4nion per&its traditional ethnic identities and ani&osities to co&e to the
"ore' 2i""erences in cltre and religion create di""erences o!er polic% isses, ranging "ro& h&an rights to
i&&igration to trade and co&&erce to the en!iron&ent' 9eographical propin@it% gi!es rise to con"licting territorial
clai&s "ro& Aosnia to >indanao' >ost i&portant, the e""orts o" the West to pro&ote its !ales o" de&ocrac% and
li#eralis& as ni!ersal !ales, to &aintain its &ilitar% predo&inance and to ad!ance its econo&ic interests
engender contering responses "ro& other ci!ili*ations' 2ecreasingl% a#le to &o#ili*e spport and "or& coalitions
on the #asis o" ideolog%, go!ern&ents and grops will increasingl% atte&pt to &o#ili*e spport #% appealing to
co&&on religion and ci!ili*ation identit%'
The clash o" ci!ili*ations ths occrs at two le!els' At the &icro$ le!el, ad3acent grops along the "alt lines
#etween ci!ili*ations strggle, o"ten !iolentl%, o!er the control o" territor% and each other' At the &acro$le!el, states
"ro& di""erent ci!ili*ations co&pete "or relati!e &ilitar% and econo&ic power, strggle o!er the control o"
international instittions and third parties, and co&petiti!el% pro&ote their particlar political and religios !ales'
The "alt lines #etween ci!ili*ations are replacing the political and ideological #ondaries o" the Cold War as the
"lash points "or crisis and #loodshed' The Cold War #egan when the Iron Crtain di!ided Erope politicall% and
ideologicall%' The Cold War ended with the end o" the Iron Crtain' As the ideological di!ision o" Erope has
disappeared, the cltral di!ision o" Erope #etween Western Christianit%, on the one hand, and Orthodo+
Christianit% and Isla&, on the other, has ree&erged' The &ost signi"icant di!iding line in Erope, as Willia&
Wallace has sggested, &a% well #e the eastern #ondar% o" Western Christianit% in the %ear ,FEE' This line rns
along what are now the #ondaries #etween Finland and Rssia and #etween the Aaltic states and Rssia, cts
throgh Aelars and 4)raine separating the &ore Catholic western 4)raine "ro& Orthodo+ eastern 4)raine,
swings westward separating Trans%l!ania "ro& the rest o" Ro&ania, and then goes throgh (gosla!ia al&ost
e+actl% along the line now separating Croatia and 7lo!enia "ro& the rest o" (gosla!ia' In the Aal)ans this line, o"
corse, coincides with the historic #ondar% #etween the Haps#rg and Otto&an e&pires' The peoples to the
north and west o" this line are Protestant or Catholic1 the% shared the co&&on e+periences o" Eropean histor%$$
"edalis&, the Renaissance, the Re"or&ation, the Enlighten&ent, the French Re!oltion, the Indstrial Re!oltion1
the% are generall% econo&icall% #etter o"" than the peoples to the east1 and the% &a% now loo) "orward to
increasing in!ol!e&ent in a co&&on Eropean econo&% and to the consolidation o" de&ocratic political s%ste&s'
The peoples to the east and soth o" this line are Orthodo+ or >sli&1 the% historicall% #elonged to the Otto&an or
Tsarist e&pires and were onl% lightl% toched #% the shaping e!ents in the rest o" Erope1 the% are generall% less
ad!anced econo&icall%1 the% see& &ch less li)el% to de!elop sta#le de&ocratic political s%ste&s' The 5el!et
Crtain o" cltre has replaced the Iron Crtain o" ideolog% as the &ost signi"icant di!iding line in Erope' As the
e!ents in (gosla!ia show, it is not onl% a line o" di""erence1 it is also at ti&es a line o" #lood% con"lict'
Con"lict along the "alt line #etween Western and Isla&ic ci!ili*ations has #een going on "or ,,/EE %ears' A"ter the
"onding o" Isla&, the Ara# and >oorish srge west and north onl% ended at Tors in -/?' Fro& the ele!enth to
the thirteenth centr% the Crsaders atte&pted with te&porar% sccess to #ring Christianit% and Christian rle to
the Hol% Land' Fro& the "orteenth to the se!enteenth centr%, the Otto&an Tr)s re!ersed the #alance,
e+tended their swa% o!er the >iddle East and the Aal)ans, captred Constantinople, and twice laid siege to
5ienna' In the nineteenth and earl% twentieth centries as Otto&an power declined Aritain, France, and Ital%
esta#lished Western control o!er &ost o" North A"rica and the >iddle East'
A"ter World War ,,, the West, in trn, #egan to retreat1 the colonial e&pires disappeared1 "irst Ara# nationalis&
and then Isla&ic "nda&entalis& &ani"ested the&sel!es1 the West #eca&e hea!il% dependent on the Persian
9l" contries "or its energ%1 the oil$rich >sli& contries #eca&e &one%$rich and, when the% wished to,
weapons$rich' 7e!eral wars occrred #etween Ara#s and Israel ;created #% the West<' France "oght a #lood%
and rthless war in Algeria "or &ost o" the ,.FE1 Aritish and French "orces in!aded Eg%pt in ,.FG1 A&erican "orces
went into Le#anon in ,.FD1 s#se@entl% A&erican "orces retrned to Le#anon, attac)ed Li#%a, and engaged in
!arios &ilitar% enconters with Iran1 Ara# and Isla&ic terrorists, spported #% at least three >iddle Eastern
go!ern&ents, e&plo%ed the weapon o" the wea) and #o&#ed Western planes and installations and sei*ed
Western hostages' This war"are #etween Ara#s and the West cl&inated in ,..E, when the 4nited 7tates sent a
&assi!e ar&% to the Persian 9l" to de"end so&e Ara# contries against aggression #% another' In its a"ter&ath
NATO planning is increasingl% directed to potential threats and insta#ilit% along its 0sothern tier'0
This centries$old &ilitar% interaction #etween the West and Isla& is nli)el% to decline' It cold #eco&e &ore
!irlent' The 9l" War le"t so&e Ara#s "eeling prod that 7adda& Hssein had attac)ed Israel and stood p to the
West' It also le"t &an% "eeling h&iliated and resent"l o" the WestCs &ilitar% presence in the Persian 9l", the
WestCs o!erwhel&ing &ilitar% do&inance, and their apparent ina#ilit% to shape their own destin%' >an% Ara#
contries, in addition to the oil e+porters, are reaching le!els o" econo&ic and social de!elop&ent where
atocratic "or&s o" go!ern&ent #eco&e inappropriate and e""orts to introdce de&ocrac% #eco&e stronger' 7o&e
openings in Ara# political s%ste&s ha!e alread% occrred' The principal #ene"iciaries o" these openings ha!e #een
Isla&ist &o!e&ents' In the Ara# world, in short, Western de&ocrac% strengthens anti$Western political "orces'
This &a% #e a passing pheno&enon, #t it srel% co&plicates relations #etween Isla&ic contries and the West'
Those relations are also co&plicated #% de&ograph%' The spectaclar poplation growth in Ara# contries,
particlarl% in North A"rica, has led to increased &igration to Western Erope' The &o!e&ent within Western
Erope toward &ini&i*ing internal #ondaries has sharpened political sensiti!ities with respect to this
de!elop&ent' In Ital%, France and 9er&an%, racis& is increasingl% open, and political reactions and !iolence
against Ara# and Tr)ish &igrants ha!e #eco&e &ore intense and &ore widespread since ,..E'
On #oth sides the interaction #etween Isla& and the West is seen as a clash o" ci!ili*ations' The WestCs 0ne+t
con"rontation,0 o#ser!es >' =' A)#ar, an Indian >sli& athor, 0is de"initel% going to co&e "ro& the >sli& world'
It is in the sweep o" the Isla&ic nations "ro& the >aghre# to Pa)istan that the strggle "or a new world order will
#egin'0 Aernard Lewis co&es to a si&ilar conclsion:
We are "acing a &ood and a &o!e&ent "ar transcending the le!el o" isses and policies and the go!ern&ents that
prse the&' This is no less than a clash o" ci!ili*ations$$the perhaps irrational #t srel% historic reaction o" an
ancient ri!al against or =deo$Christian heritage, or seclar present, and the worldwide e+pansion o" #oth';?<
Historicall%, the other great antagonistic interaction o" Ara# Isla&ic ci!ili*ation has #een with the pagan, ani&ist,
and now increasingl% Christian #lac) peoples to the soth' In the past, this antagonis& was epito&i*ed in the
i&age o" Ara# sla!e dealers and #lac) sla!es' It has #een re"lected in the on$going ci!il war in the 7dan #etween
Ara#s and #lac)s, the "ighting in Chad #etween Li#%an$spported insrgents and the go!ern&ent, the tensions
#etween Orthodo+ Christians and >sli&s in the Horn o" A"rica, and the political con"licts, recrring riots and
co&&nal !iolence #etween >sli&s and Christians in Nigeria' The &oderni*ation o" A"rica and the spread o"
Christianit% are li)el% to enhance the pro#a#ilit% o" !iolence along this "alt line' 7%&pto&atic o" the intensi"ication
o" this con"lict was the Pope =ohn Pal IICs speech in Bharto& in Fe#rar% I../ attac)ing the actions o" the
7danCs Isla&ist go!ern&ent against the Christian &inorit% there'
On the northern #order o" Isla&, con"lict has increasingl% erpted #etween Orthodo+ and >sli& peoples,
inclding the carnage o" Aosnia and 7ara3e!o, the si&&ering !iolence #etween 7er# and Al#anian, the tenos
relations #etween Algarians and their Tr)ish &inorit%, the !iolence #etween Ossetians and Ingsh, the
nre&itting slaghter o" each other #% Ar&enians and A*eris, the tense relations #etween Rssians and >sli&s
in Central Asia, and the deplo%&ent o" Rssian troops to protect Rssian interests in the Cacass and Central
Asia' Religion rein"orces the re!ital o" ethnic identities and resti&lates Rssian "ears a#ot the secrit% o" their
sothern #orders' This concern is well captred #% Archie Roose!elt:
>ch o" Rssian histor% concerns the strggle #etween the 7la!s and the Tr)ic peoples on their #orders, which
dates #ac) to the "ondation o" the Rssian state &ore than a thosand %ears ago' In the 7la!sC &illenni&$long
con"rontation with their eastern neigh#ors lies the )e% to an nderstanding not onl% o" Rssian histor%, #t Rssian
character' To nderstand Rssian realities toda% one has to ha!e a concept o" the great Tr)ic ethnic grop that
has preoccpied Rssians throgh the centries';/<
The con"lict o" ci!ili*ations is deepl% rooted elsewhere in Asia' The historic clash #etween >sli& and Hind in the
s#continent &ani"ests itsel" now not onl% in the ri!alr% #etween Pa)istan and India #t also in intensi"%ing
religios stri"e within India #etween increasingl% &ilitant Hind grops and IndiaCs s#stantial >sli& &inorit%' The
destrction o" the A%odh%a &os@e in 2ece&#er ,..? #roght to the "ore the isse o" whether India will re&ain a
seclar de&ocratic state or #eco&e a Hind one' In East Asia, China has otstanding territorial disptes with &ost
o" its neigh#ors' It has prsed a rthless polic% toward the Addhist people o" Ti#et, and it is prsing an
increasingl% rthless polic% toward its Tr)ic$>sli& &inorit%' With the Cold War o!er, the nderl%ing di""erences
#etween China and the 4nited 7tates ha!e reasserted the&sel!es in areas sch as h&an rights, trade and
weapons proli"eration' These di""erences are nli)el% to &oderate' A 0new cold war,0 2eng Xaioping reportedl%
asserted in ,..,, is nder wa% #etween China and A&erica'
The sa&e phrase has #een applied to the increasingl% di""iclt relations #etween =apan and the 4nited 7tates'
Here cltral di""erence e+acer#ates econo&ic con"lict' People on each side allege racis& on the other, #t at
least on the A&erican side the antipathies are not racial #t cltral' The #asic !ales, attitdes, #eha!ioral
patterns o" the two societies cold hardl% #e &ore di""erent' The econo&ic isses #etween the 4nited 7tates and
Erope are no less serios than those #etween the 4nited 7tates and =apan, #t the% do not ha!e the sa&e
political salience and e&otional intensit% #ecase the di""erences #etween A&erican cltre and Eropean cltre
are so &ch less than those #etween A&erican ci!ili*ation and =apanese ci!ili*ation'
The interactions #etween ci!ili*ations !ar% greatl% in the e+tent to which the% are li)el% to #e characteri*ed #%
!iolence' Econo&ic co&petition clearl% predo&inates #etween the A&erican and Eropean s#ci!ili*ations o" the
West and #etween #oth o" the& and =apan' On the Erasian continent, howe!er, the proli"eration o" ethnic
con"lict, epito&i*ed at the e+tre&e in 0ethnic cleansing,0 has not #een totall% rando&' It has #een &ost "re@ent
and &ost !iolent #etween grops #elonging to di""erent ci!ili*ations' In Erasia the great historic "alt lines
#etween ci!ili*ations are once &ore a"la&e' This is particlarl% tre along the #ondaries o" the crescent$shaped
Isla&ic #loc o" nations "ro& the #lge o" A"rica to central Asia' 5iolence also occrs #etween >sli&s, on the one
hand, and Orthodo+ 7er#s in the Aal)ans, =ews in Israel, Hinds in India, Addhists in Ar&a and Catholics in the
Philippines' Isla& has #lood% #orders'
9rops or states #elonging to one ci!ili*ation that #eco&e in!ol!ed in war with people "ro& a di""erent ci!ili*ation
natrall% tr% to rall% spport "ro& other &e&#ers o" their own ci!ili*ation' As the post$Cold War world e!ol!es,
ci!ili*ation co&&onalit%, what H' 2' 7' 9reenwa% has ter&ed the 0)in$contr%0 s%ndro&e, is replacing political
ideolog% and traditional #alance o" power considerations as the principal #asis "or cooperation and coalitions' It
can #e seen gradall% e&erging in the post$Cold War con"licts in the Persian 9l", the Cacass and Aosnia'
None o" these was a "ll$scale war #etween ci!ili*ations, #t each in!ol!ed so&e ele&ents o" ci!ili*ational rall%ing,
which see&ed to #eco&e &ore i&portant as the con"lict contined and which &a% pro!ide a "oretaste o" the
First, in the 9l" War one Ara# state in!aded another and then "oght a coalition o" Ara#, Western and other
states' While onl% a "ew >sli& go!ern&ents o!ertl% spported 7adda& Hssein, &an% Ara# elites pri!atel%
cheered hi& on, and he was highl% poplar a&ong large sections o" the Ara# p#lics' Isla&ic "nda&entalist
&o!e&ents ni!ersall% spported Ira@ rather than the Western$#ac)ed go!ern&ents o" Bwait and 7adi Ara#ia'
Forswearing Ara# nationalis&, 7adda& Hssein e+plicitl% in!o)ed an Isla&ic appeal' He and his spporters
atte&pted to de"ine the war as a war #etween ci!ili*ations' 0It is not the world against Ira@,0 as 7a"ar Al$Hawali,
dean o" Isla&ic 7tdies at the 4&& Al$Hra 4ni!ersit% in >ecca, pt it in a widel% circlated tape' 0It is the West
against Isla&'0 Ignoring the ri!alr% #etween Iran and Ira@, the chie" Iranian religios leader, A%atollah Ali
Bha&enei, called "or a hol% war against the West: 0The strggle against A&erican aggression, greed, plans and
policies will #e conted as a 3ihad, and an%#od% who is )illed on that path is a &art%r'0 0This is a war,0 Bing
Hssein o" =ordan arged, 0against all Ara#s and all >sli&s and not against Ira@ alone'0
The rall%ing o" s#stantial sections o" Ara# elites and p#lics #ehind 7adda& Hssein cased those Ara#
go!ern&ents in the anti$Ira@ coalition to &oderate their acti!ities and te&per their p#lic state&ents' Ara#
go!ern&ents opposed or distanced the&sel!es "ro& s#se@ent Western e""orts to appl% pressre on Ira@,
inclding en"orce&ent o" a no$"l% *one in the s&&er o" ,..? and the #o&#ing o" Ira@ in 3anar% I../' The
Western$ 7o!iet$Tr)ish$Ara# anti$Ira@ coalition o" ,..E had #% ,../ #eco&e a coalition o" al&ost onl% the West
and Bwait against Ira@'
>sli&s contrasted Western actions against Ira@ with the WestCs "ailre to protect Aosnians against 7er#s and to
i&pose sanctions on Israel "or !iolating 4'N' resoltions' The West, the% alleged, was sing a do#le standard' A
world o" clashing ci!ili*ations, howe!er, is ine!ita#l% a world o" do#le standards: people appl% one standard to
their )in$ contries and a di""erent standard to others'
7econd, the )in$contr% s%ndro&e also appeared in con"licts in the "or&er 7o!iet 4nion' Ar&enian &ilitar%
sccesses in ,..? and I../ sti&lated Tr)e% to #eco&e increasingl% spporti!e o" its religios, ethnic and
lingistic #rethren in A*er#ai3an' 0We ha!e a Tr)ish nation "eeling the sa&e senti&ents as the A*er#ai3anis,0 said
one Tr)ish o""icial in ,..?' 0We are nder pressre' Or newspapers are "ll o" the photos o" atrocities and are
as)ing s i" we are still serios a#ot prsing or netral polic%' >a%#e we shold show Ar&enia that thereCs a
#ig Tr)e% in the region'0 President Trgt O*al agreed, re&ar)ing that Tr)e% shold at least 0scare the
Ar&enians a little #it'0 Tr)e%, O*al threatened again in ,../, wold 0show its "angs'0 Tr)ish Air Force 3ets "lew
reconnaissance "lights along the Ar&enian #order1 Tr)e% sspended "ood ship&ents and air "lights to Ar&enia1
and Tr)e% and Iran annonced the% wold not accept dis&e&#er&ent o" A*er#ai3an' In the last %ears o" its
e+istence, the 7o!iet go!ern&ent spported A*er#ai3an #ecase its go!ern&ent was do&inated #% "or&er
co&&nists' With the end o" the 7o!iet 4nion, howe!er, political considerations ga!e wa% to religios ones'
Rssian troops "oght on the side o" the Ar&enians, and A*er#ai3an accsed the 0Rssian go!ern&ent o" trning
,DE degrees0 toward spport "or Christian Ar&enia'
Third, with respect to the "ighting in the "or&er (gosla!ia, Western p#lics &ani"ested s%&path% and spport "or
the Aosnian >sli&s and the horrors the% s""ered at the hands o" the 7er#s' Relati!el% little concern was
e+pressed, howe!er, o!er Croatian attac)s on >sli&s and participation in the dis&e&#er&ent o" Aosnia$
Her*ego!ina' In the earl% stages o" the (gosla! #rea)p, 9er&an%, in an nsal displa% o" diplo&atic initiati!e
and &scle, indced the other II &e&#ers o" the Eropean Co&&nit% to "ollow its lead in recogni*ing 7lo!enia
and Croatia' As a reslt o" the popeCs deter&ination to pro!ide strong #ac)ing to the two Catholic contries, the
5atican e+tended recognition e!en #e"ore the Co&&nit% did' The 4nited 7tates "ollowed the Eropean lead'
Ths the leading actors in Western ci!ili*ation rallied #ehind their coreligionists' 7#se@entl% Croatia was
reported to #e recei!ing s#stantial @antities o" ar&s "ro& Central Eropean and other Western contries' Aoris
(eltsinCs go!ern&ent, on the other hand, atte&pted to prse a &iddle corse that wold #e s%&pathetic to the
Orthodo+ 7er#s #t not alienate Rssia "ro& the West' Rssian conser!ati!e and nationalist grops, howe!er,
inclding &an% legislators, attac)ed the go!ern&ent "or not #eing &ore "orthco&ing in its spport "or the 7er#s'
A% earl% ,../ se!eral hndred Rssians apparentl% were ser!ing with the 7er#ian "orces, and reports circlated
o" Rssian ar&s #eing spplied to 7er#ia'
Isla&ic go!ern&ents and grops, on the other hand, castigated the West "or not co&ing to the de"ense o" the
Aosnians' Iranian leaders rged >sli&s "ro& all contries to pro!ide help to Aosnia1 in !iolation o" the 4'N' ar&s
e&#argo, Iran spplied weapons and &en "or the Aosnians1 Iranian$spported Le#anese grops sent gerrias to
train and organi*e the Aosnian "orces' In I../ P to I,EEE >sli&s "ro& o!er two do*en Isla&ic contries were
reported to #e "ighting in Aosnia' The go!ern&ents o" 7adi Ara#ia and other contries "elt nder increasing
pressre "ro& "nda&entalist grops in their own societies to pro!ide &ore !igoros spport "or the Aosnians' A%
the end o" ,..?, 7adi Ara#ia had reportedl% spplied s#stantial "nding "or weapons and spplies "or the
Aosnians, which signi"icantl% increased their &ilitar% capa#ilities !is$a$!is the 7er#s'
In the ,./Es the 7panish Ci!il War pro!o)ed inter!ention "ro& contries that politicall% were "ascist, co&&nist
and de&ocratic' In the ,..Es the (gosla! con"lict is pro!o)ing inter!ention "ro& contries that are >sli&,
Orthodo+ and Western Christian' The parallel has not gone nnoticed' 0The war in Aosnia$Her*ego!ina has
#eco&e the e&otional e@i!alent o" the "ight against "ascis& in the 7panish Ci!il War,0 one 7adi editor o#ser!ed'
0Those who died there are regarded as &art%rs who tried to sa!e their "ellow >sli&s'0
Con"licts and !iolence will also occr #etween states and grops within the sa&e ci!ili*ation' 7ch con"licts,
howe!er, are li)el% to #e less intense and less li)el% to e+pand than con"licts #etween ci!ili*ations' Co&&on
&e&#ership in a ci!ili*ation redces the pro#a#ilit% o" !iolence in sitations where it &ight otherwise occr' In
,.., and ,..? &an% people were alar&ed #% the possi#ilit% o" !iolent con"lict #etween Rssia and 4)raine o!er
territor%, particlarl% Cri&ea, the Alac) 7ea "leet, nclear weapons and econo&ic isses' I" ci!ili*ation is what
conts, howe!er, the li)elihood o" !iolence #etween 4)rainians and Rssians shold #e low' The% are two 7la!ic,
pri&aril% Orthodo+ peoples who ha!e had close relationships with each other "or centries' As o" earl% ,../,
despite all the reasons "or con"lict, the leaders o" the two contries were e""ecti!el% negotiating and de"sing the
isses #etween the two contries' While there has #een serios "ighting #etween >sli&s and Christians
elsewhere in the "or&er 7o!iet 4nion and &ch tension and so&e "ighting #etween Western and Orthodo+
Christians in the Aaltic states, there has #een !irtall% no !iolence #etween Rssians and 4)rainians'
Ci!ili*ation rall%ing to date has #een li&ited, #t it has #een growing, and it clearl% has the potential to spread
&ch "rther' As the con"licts in the Persian 9l", the Cacass and Aosnia contined, the positions o" nations
and the clea!ages #etween the& increasingl% were along ci!ili*ational lines' Poplist politicians, religios leaders
and the &edia ha!e "ond it a potent &eans o" arosing &ass spport and o" pressring hesitant go!ern&ents' In
the co&ing %ears, the local con"licts &ost li)el% to escalate into &a3or wars will #e those, as in Aosnia and the
Cacass, along the "alt lines #etween ci!ili*ations' The ne+t world war, i" there is one, will #e a war #etween
The west in now at an e+traordinar% pea) o" power in relation to other ci!ili*ations' Its sperpower opponent has
disappeared "ro& the &ap' >ilitar% con"lict a&ong Western states is nthin)a#le, and Western &ilitar% power is
nri!aled' Apart "ro& =apan, the West "aces no econo&ic challenge' It do&inates international political and
secrit% instittions and with =apan international econo&ic instittions' 9lo#al political and secrit% isses are
e""ecti!el% settled #% a directorate o" the 4nited 7tates, Aritain and France, world econo&ic isses #% a directorate
o" the 4nited 7tates, 9er&an% and =apan, all o" which &aintain e+traordinaril% close relations with each other to
the e+clsion o" lesser and largel% non$Western contries' 2ecisions &ade at the 4'N' 7ecrit% Concil or in the
International >onetar% Fnd that re"lect the interests o" the West are presented to the world as re"lecting the
desires o" the world co&&nit%' The !er% phrase 0the world co&&nit%0 has #eco&e the ephe&istic collecti!e
non ;replacing 0the Free World0< to gi!e glo#al legiti&ac% to actions re"lecting the interests o" the 4nited 7tates
and other Western powers';I< Throgh the I>F and other international econo&ic instittions, the West pro&otes
its econo&ic interests and i&poses on other nations the econo&ic policies it thin)s appropriate' In an% poll o" non$
Western peoples, the I>F ndo#tedl% wold win the spport o" "inance &inisters and a "ew others, #t get an
o!erwhel&ingl% n"a!ora#le rating "ro& 3st a#ot e!er%one else, who wold agree with 9eorg% Ar#ato!Cs
characteri*ation o" I>F o""icials as 0neo$Aolshe!i)s who lo!e e+propriating other peopleCs &one%, i&posing
nde&ocratic and alien rles o" econo&ic and political condct and sti"ling econo&ic "reedo&'0
Western do&ination o" the 4'N' 7ecrit% Concil and its decisions, te&pered onl% #% occasional a#stention #%
China, prodced 4'N' legiti&ation o" the WestCs se o" "orce to dri!e Ira@ ot o" Bwait and its eli&ination o" Ira@Cs
sophisticated weapons and capacit% to prodce sch weapons' It also prodced the @ite nprecedented action
#% the 4nited 7tates, Aritain and France in getting the 7ecrit% Concil to de&and that Li#%a hand o!er the Pan
A& ,E/ #o&#ing sspects and then to i&pose sanctions when Li#%a re"sed' A"ter de"eating the largest Ara#
ar&%, the West did not hesitate to throw its weight arond in the Ara# world' The West in e""ect is sing
international instittions, &ilitar% power and econo&ic resorces to rn the world in wa%s that will &aintain
Western predo&inance, protect Western interests and pro&ote Western political and econo&ic !ales'
That at least is the wa% in which non$Westerners see the new world, and there is a signi"icant ele&ent o" trth in
their !iew' 2i""erences in power and strggles "or &ilitar%, econo&ic and instittional power are ths one sorce o"
con"lict #etween the West and other ci!ili*ations' 2i""erences in cltre, that is #asic !ales and #elie"s, are a
second sorce o" con"lict' 5' 7' Naipal has arged that Western ci!ili*ation is the 0ni!ersal ci!ili*ation0 that 0"its
all &en'0 At a sper"icial le!el &ch o" Western cltre has indeed per&eated the rest o" the world' At a &ore
#asic le!el, howe!er, Western concepts di""er "nda&entall% "ro& those pre!alent in other ci!ili*ations' Western
ideas o" indi!idalis&, li#eralis&, constittionalis&, h&an rights, e@alit%, li#ert%, the rle o" law, de&ocrac%, "ree
&ar)ets, the separation o" chrch and state, o"ten ha!e little resonance in Isla&ic, Con"cian, =apanese, Hind,
Addhist or Orthodo+ cltres' Western e""orts to propagate sch ideas prodce instead a reaction against
0h&an rights i&perialis&0 and a rea""ir&ation o" indigenos !ales, as can #e seen in the spport "or religios
"nda&entalis& #% the %onger generation in non$Western cltres' The !er% notion that there cold #e a
0ni!ersal ci!ili*ation0 is a Western idea, directl% at odds with the particlaris& o" &ost Asian societies and their
e&phasis on what distingishes one people "ro& another' Indeed, the athor o" a re!iew o" ,EE co&parati!e
stdies o" !ales in di""erent societies conclded that 0the !ales that are &ost i&portant in the West are least
i&portant worldwide'0;F< In the political real&, o" corse, these di""erences are &ost &ani"est in the e""orts o" the
4nited 7tates and other Western powers to indce other peoples to adopt Western ideas concerning de&ocrac%
and h&an rights' >odern de&ocratic go!ern&ent originated in the West' When it has de!eloped in non$Western
societies it has sall% #een the prodct o" Western colonialis& or i&position'
The central a+is o" world politics in the "tre is li)el% to #e, in Bishore >ah##aniCs phrase, the con"lict #etween
0the West and the Rest0 and the responses o" non$Western ci!ili*ations to Western power and !ales';G< Those
responses generall% ta)e one or a co&#ination o" three "or&s' At one e+tre&e, non$Western states can, li)e
Ar&a and North Borea, atte&pt to prse a corse o" isolation, to inslate their societies "ro& penetration or
0corrption0 #% the West, and, in e""ect, to opt ot o" participation in the Western$do&inated glo#al co&&nit%' The
costs o" this corse, howe!er, are high, and "ew states ha!e prsed it e+clsi!el%' A second alternati!e, the
e@i!alent o" 0#and$ wagoning0 in international relations theor%, is to atte&pt to 3oin the West and accept its !ales
and instittions' The third alternati!e is to atte&pt to 0#alance0 the West #% de!eloping econo&ic and &ilitar%
power and cooperating with other non$Western societies against the West, while preser!ing indigenos !ales
and instittions1 in short, to &oderni*e #t not to Westerni*e'
In the "tre, as people di""erentiate the&sel!es #% ci!ili*ation, contries with large n&#ers o" peoples o" di""erent
ci!ili*ations, sch as the 7o!iet 4nion and (gosla!ia, are candidates "or dis&e&#er&ent' 7o&e other contries
ha!e a "air degree o" cltral ho&ogeneit% #t are di!ided o!er whether their societ% #elongs to one ci!ili*ation or
another' These are torn contries' Their leaders t%picall% wish to prse a #andwagoning strateg% and to &a)e
their contries &e&#ers o" the West, #t the histor%, cltre and traditions o" their contries are non$Western' The
&ost o#!ios and protot%pical torn contr% is Tr)e%' The late twentieth$centr% leaders o" Tr)e% ha!e "ollowed in
the Attatr) tradition and de"ined Tr)e% as a &odern, seclar, Western nation state' The% allied Tr)e% with the
West in NATO and in the 9l" War1 the% applied "or &e&#ership in the Eropean Co&&nit%' At the sa&e ti&e,
howe!er, ele&ents in Tr)ish societ% ha!e spported an Isla&ic re!i!al and ha!e arged that Tr)e% is #asicall% a
>iddle Eastern >sli& societ%' In addition, while the elite o" Tr)e% has de"ined Tr)e% as a Western societ%, the
elite o" the West re"ses to accept Tr)e% as sch' Tr)e% will not #eco&e a &e&#er o" the Eropean Co&&nit%,
and the real reason, as President O*al said, 0is that we are >sli& and the% are Christian and the% donCt sa% that'0
Ha!ing re3ected >ecca, and then #eing re3ected #% Arssels, where does Tr)e% loo)8 Tash)ent &a% #e the
answer' The end o" the 7o!iet 4nion gi!es Tr)e% the opportnit% to #eco&e the leader o" a re!i!ed Tr)ic
ci!ili*ation in!ol!ing se!en contries "ro& the #orders o" 9reece to those o" China' Encoraged #% the West,
Tr)e% is &a)ing strenos e""orts to car!e ot this new identit% "or itsel"'
2ring the past decade >e+ico has ass&ed a position so&ewhat si&ilar to that o" Tr)e%' =st as Tr)e%
a#andoned its historic opposition to Erope and atte&pted to 3oin Erope, >e+ico has stopped de"ining itsel" #% its
opposition to the 4nited 7tates and is instead atte&pting to i&itate the 4nited 7tates and to 3oin it in the North
A&erican Free Trade Area' >e+ican leaders are engaged in the great tas) o" rede"ining >e+ican identit% and ha!e
introdced "nda&ental econo&ic re"or&s that e!entall% will lead to "nda&ental political change' In ,.., a top
ad!iser to President Carlos 7alinas de 9ortari descri#ed at length to &e all the changes the 7alinas go!ern&ent
was &a)ing' When he "inished, I re&ar)ed: 0ThatCs &ost i&pressi!e' It see&s to &e that #asicall% %o want to
change >e+ico "ro& a Latin A&erican contr% into a North A&erican contr%'0 He loo)ed at &e with srprise and
e+clai&ed: 0E+actl%J ThatCs precisel% what we are tr%ing to do, #t o" corse we cold ne!er sa% so p#licl%'0 As
his re&ar) indicates, in >e+ico as in Tr)e%, signi"icant ele&ents in societ% resist the rede"inition o" their contr%Cs
identit%' In Tr)e%, Eropean$oriented leaders ha!e to &a)e gestres to Isla& ;O*alCs pilgri&age to >ecca<1 so
also >e+icoCs North A&erican$oriented leaders ha!e to &a)e gestres to those who hold >e+ico to #e a Latin
A&erican contr% ;7alinasC I#ero$A&erican 9adala3ara s&&it<'
Historicall% Tr)e% has #een the &ost pro"ondl% torn contr%' For the 4nited 7tates, >e+ico is the &ost
i&&ediate torn contr%' 9lo#all% the &ost i&portant torn contr% is Rssia' The @estion o" whether Rssia is part
o" the West or the leader o" a distinct 7la!ic$Orthodo+ ci!ili*ation has #een a recrring one in Rssian histor%' That
isse was o#scred #% the co&&nist !ictor% in Rssia, which i&ported a Western ideolog%, adapted it to Rssian
conditions and then challenged the West in the na&e o" that ideolog%' The do&inance o" co&&nis& sht o"" the
historic de#ate o!er Westerni*ation !erss Rssi"ication' With co&&nis& discredited Rssians once again "ace
that @estion'
President (eltsin is adopting Western principles and goals and see)ing to &a)e Rssia a 0nor&al0 contr% and a
part o" the West' (et #oth the Rssian elite and the Rssian p#lic are di!ided on this isse' A&ong the &ore
&oderate dissenters, 7ergei 7tan)e!ich arges that Rssia shold re3ect the 0Atlanticist0 corse, which wold
lead it 0to #eco&e Eropean, to #eco&e a part o" the world econo&% in rapid and organi*ed "ashion, to #eco&e
the eighth &e&#er o" the 7e!en, and to pt particlar e&phasis on 9er&an% and the 4nited 7tates as the two
do&inant &e&#ers o" the Atlantic alliance'0 While also re3ecting an e+clsi!el% Erasian polic%, 7tan)e!ich
nonetheless arges that Rssia shold gi!e priorit% to the protection o" Rssians in other contries, e&phasi*e its
Tr)ic and >sli& connections, and pro&ote 0an apprecia#le redistri#tion o" or resorces, or options, or ties,
and or interests in "a!or o" Asia, o" the eastern direction'0 People o" this persasion critici*e (eltsin "or
s#ordinating RssiaCs interests to those o" the West, "or redcing Rssian &ilitar% strength, "or "ailing to spport
traditional "riends sch as 7er#ia, and "or pshing econo&ic and political re"or& in wa%s in3rios to the Rssian
people' Indicati!e o" this trend is the new poplarit% o" the ideas o" Petr 7a!its)%, who in the ,.?Es arged that
Rssia was a ni@e Erasian ci!ili*ation';-< >ore e+tre&e dissidents !oice &ch &ore #latantl% nationalist, anti$
Western and anti$7e&itic !iews, and rge Rssia to rede!elop its &ilitar% strength and to esta#lish closer ties with
China and >sli& contries' The people o" Rssia are as di!ided as the elite' An opinion sr!e% in Eropean
Rssia in the spring o" ,..? re!ealed that IE percent o" the p#lic had positi!e attitdes toward the West and /G
percent had negati!e attitdes' As it has #een "or &ch o" its histor%, Rssia in the earl% ,..Es is trl% a torn
To rede"ine its ci!ili*ation identit%, a torn contr% &st &eet three re@ire&ents' First, its political and econo&ic
elite has to #e generall% spporti!e o" and enthsiastic a#ot this &o!e' 7econd, its p#lic has to #e willing to
ac@iesce in the rede"inition' Third, the do&inant grops in the recipient ci!ili*ation ha!e to #e willing to e&#race
the con!ert' All three re@ire&ents in large part e+ist with respect to >e+ico' The "irst two in large part e+ist with
respect to Tr)e%' It is not clear that an% o" the& e+ist with respect to RssiaCs 3oining the West' The con"lict
#etween li#eral de&ocrac% and >ar+is&$ Leninis& was #etween ideologies which, despite their &a3or di""erences,
ostensi#l% shared lti&ate goals o" "reedo&, e@alit% and prosperit%' A traditional, athoritarian, nationalist Rssia
cold ha!e @ite di""erent goals' A Western de&ocrat cold carr% on an intellectal de#ate with a 7o!iet >ar+ist' It
wold #e !irtall% i&possi#le "or hi& to do that with a Rssian traditionalist' I", as the Rssians stop #eha!ing li)e
>ar+ists, the% re3ect li#eral de&ocrac% and #egin #eha!ing li)e Rssians #t not li)e Westerners, the relations
#etween Rssia and the West cold again #eco&e distant and con"lictal';D<
The o#stacles to non$Western contries 3oining the West !ar% considera#l%' The% are least "or Latin A&erican and
East Eropean contries' The% are greater "or the Orthodo+ contries o" the "or&er 7o!iet 4nion' The% are still
greater "or >sli&, Con"cian, Hind and Addhist societies' =apan has esta#lished a ni@e position "or itsel" as
an associate &e&#er o" the West: it is in the West in so&e respects #t clearl% not o" the West in i&portant
di&ensions' Those contries that "or reason o" cltre and power do not wish to, or cannot, 3oin the West co&pete
with the West #% de!eloping their own econo&ic, &ilitar% and political power' The% do this #% pro&oting their
internal de!elop&ent and #% cooperating with other non$Western contries' The &ost pro&inent "or& o" this
cooperation is the Con"cian$Isla&ic connection that has e&erged to challenge Western interests, !ales and
Al&ost withot e+ception, Western contries are redcing their &ilitar% power1 nder (eltsinCs leadership so also is
Rssia' China, North Borea and se!eral >iddle Eastern states, howe!er, are signi"icantl% e+panding their &ilitar%
capa#ilities' The% are doing this #% the i&port o" ar&s "ro& Western and non$Western sorces and #% the
de!elop&ent o" indigenos ar&s indstries' One reslt is the e&ergence o" what Charles Bratha&&er has called
0Weapon 7tates,0 and the Weapon 7tates are not Western states' Another reslt is the rede"inition o" ar&s
control, which is a Western concept and a Western goal' 2ring the Cold War the pri&ar% prpose o" ar&s control
was to esta#lish a sta#le &ilitar% #alance #etween the 4nited 7tates and its allies and the 7o!iet 4nion and its
allies' In the post$Cold War world the pri&ar% o#3ecti!e o" ar&s control is to pre!ent the de!elop&ent #% non$
Western societies o" &ilitar% capa#ilities that cold threaten Western interests' The West atte&pts to do this
throgh international agree&ents, econo&ic pressre and controls on the trans"er o" ar&s and weapons
The con"lict #etween the West and the Con"cian$Isla&ic states "ocses largel%, althogh not e+clsi!el%, on
nclear, che&ical and #iological weapons, #allistic &issiles and other sophisticated &eans "or deli!ering the&,
and the gidance, intelligence and other electronic capa#ilities "or achie!ing that goal' The West pro&otes
nonproli"eration as a ni!ersal nor& and nonproli"eration treaties and inspections as &eans o" reali*ing that nor&'
It also threatens a !ariet% o" sanctions against those who pro&ote the spread o" sophisticated weapons and
proposes so&e #ene"its "or those who do not' The attention o" the West "ocses, natrall%, on nations that are
actall% or potentiall% hostile to the West'
The non$Western nations, on the other hand, assert their right to ac@ire and to deplo% whate!er weapons the%
thin) necessar% "or their secrit%' The% also ha!e a#sor#ed, to the "ll, the trth o" the response o" the Indian
de"ense &inister when as)ed what lesson he learned "ro& the 9l" War: 02onCt "ight the 4nited 7tates nless %o
ha!e nclear weapons'0 Nclear weapons, che&ical weapons and &issiles are !iewed, pro#a#l% erroneosl%, as
the potential e@ali*er o" sperior Western con!entional power' China, o" corse, alread% has nclear weapons1
Pa)istan and India ha!e the capa#ilit% to deplo% the&' North Borea, Iran, Ira@, Li#%a and Algeria appear to #e
atte&pting to ac@ire the&' A top Iranian o""icial has declared that all >sli& states shold ac@ire nclear
weapons, and in ,.DD the president o" Iran reportedl% issed a directi!e calling "or de!elop&ent o" 0o""ensi!e and
de"ensi!e che&ical, #iological and radiological weapons'0
Centrall% i&portant to the de!elop&ent o" conter$West &ilitar% capa#ilities is the sstained e+pansion o" ChinaCs
&ilitar% power and its &eans to create &ilitar% power' Ao%ed #% spectaclar econo&ic de!elop&ent, China is
rapidl% increasing its &ilitar% spending and !igorosl% &o!ing "orward with the &oderni*ation o" its ar&ed "orces'
It is prchasing weapons "ro& the "or&er 7o!iet states1 it is de!eloping long$range &issiles1 in ,..? it tested a
one$&egaton nclear de!ice' It is de!eloping power$pro3ection capa#ilities, ac@iring aerial re"eling technolog%,
and tr%ing to prchase an aircra"t carrier' Its &ilitar% #ildp and assertion o" so!ereignt% o!er the 7oth China
7ea are pro!o)ing a &ltilateral regional ar&s race in East Asia' China is also a &a3or e+porter o" ar&s and
weapons technolog%' It has e+ported &aterials to Li#%a and Ira@ that cold #e sed to &an"actre nclear
weapons and ner!e gas' It has helped Algeria #ild a reactor sita#le "or nclear weapons research and
prodction' China has sold to Iran nclear technolog% that A&erican o""icials #elie!e cold onl% #e sed to create
weapons and apparentl% has shipped co&ponents o" /EE$&ile$range &issiles to Pa)istan' North Borea has had a
nclear weapons progra& nder wa% "or so&e while and has sold ad!anced &issiles and &issile technolog% to
7%ria and Iran' The "low o" weapons and weapons technolog% is generall% "ro& East Asia to the >iddle East'
There is, howe!er, so&e &o!e&ent in the re!erse direction1 China has recei!ed 7tinger &issiles "ro& Pa)istan'
A Con"cian$Isla&ic &ilitar% connection has ths co&e into #eing, designed to pro&ote ac@isition #% its &e&#ers
o" the weapons and weapons technologies needed to conter the &ilitar% power o" the West' It &a% or &a% not
last' At present, howe!er, it is, as 2a!e >cCrd% has said, 0a renegadesC &tal spport pact, rn #% the
proli"erators and their #ac)ers'0 A new "or& o" ar&s co&petition is ths occrring #etween Isla&ic$Con"cian
states and the West' In an old$"ashioned ar&s race, each side de!eloped its own ar&s to #alance or to achie!e
speriorit% against the other side' In this new "or& o" ar&s co&petition, one side is de!eloping its ar&s and the
other side is atte&pting not to #alance #t to li&it and pre!ent that ar&s #ild$p while at the sa&e ti&e redcing
its own &ilitar% capa#ilities'
This article does not arge that ci!ili*ation identities will replace all other identities, that nation states will
disappear, that each ci!ili*ation will #eco&e a single coherent political entit%, that grops within a ci!ili*ation will
not con"lict with and e!en "ight each other' This paper does set "orth the h%potheses that di""erences #etween
ci!ili*ations are real and i&portant1 ci!ili*ation$ consciosness is increasing1 con"lict #etween ci!ili*ations will
spplant ideological and other "or&s o" con"lict as the do&inant glo#al "or& o" con"lict1 international relations,
historicall% a ga&e pla%ed ot within Western ci!ili*ation, will increasingl% #e de$Westerni*ed and #eco&e a ga&e
in which non$Western ci!ili*ations are actors and not si&pl% o#3ects1 sccess"l political, secrit% and econo&ic
international instittions are &ore li)el% to de!elop within ci!ili*ations than across ci!ili*ations1 con"licts #etween
grops in di""erent ci!ili*ations will #e &ore "re@ent, &ore sstained and &ore !iolent than con"licts #etween
grops in the sa&e ci!ili*ation1 !iolent con"licts #etween grops in di""erent ci!ili*ations are the &ost li)el% and
&ost dangeros sorce o" escalation that cold lead to glo#al wars1 the para&ont a+is o" world politics will #e the
relations #etween 0the West and the Rest01 the elites in so&e torn non$Western contries will tr% to &a)e their
contries part o" the West, #t in &ost cases "ace &a3or o#stacles to acco&plishing this1 a central "ocs o" con"lict
"or the i&&ediate "tre will #e #etween the West and se!eral Isla&ic$ Con"cian states'
This is not to ad!ocate the desira#ilit% o" con"licts #etween ci!ili*ations' It is to set "orth descripti!e h%potheses as
to what the "tre &a% #e li)e' I" these are plasi#le h%potheses, howe!er, it is necessar% to consider their
i&plications "or Western polic%' These i&plications shold #e di!ided #etween short$ter& ad!antage and long$
ter& acco&&odation' In the short ter& it is clearl% in the interest o" the West to pro&ote greater cooperation and
nit% within its own ci!ili*ation, particlarl% #etween its Eropean and North A&erican co&ponents1 to incorporate
into the West societies in Eastern Erope and Latin A&erica whose cltres are close to those o" the West1 to
pro&ote and &aintain cooperati!e relations with Rssia and =apan1 to pre!ent escalation o" local inter$ci!ili*ation
con"licts into &a3or inter$ci!ili*ation wars1 to li&it the e+pansion o" the &ilitar% strength o" Con"cian and Isla&ic
states1 to &oderate the redction o" Western &ilitar% capa#ilities and &aintain &ilitar% speriorit% in East and
7othwest Asia1 to e+ploit di""erences and con"licts a&ong Con"cian and Isla&ic states1 to spport in other
ci!ili*ations grops s%&pathetic to Western !ales and interests1 to strengthen international instittions that re"lect
and legiti&ate Western interests and !ales and to pro&ote the in!ol!e&ent o" non$Western states in those
In the longer ter& other &easres wold #e called "or' Western ci!ili*ation is #oth Western and &odern' Non$
Western ci!ili*ations ha!e atte&pted to #eco&e &odern withot #eco&ing Western' To date onl% =apan has "ll%
scceeded in this @est' Non$Western ci!ili*ations will contine to atte&pt to ac@ire the wealth, technolog%, s)ills,
&achines and weapons that are part o" #eing &odern' The% will also atte&pt to reconcile this &odernit% with their
traditional cltre and !ales' Their econo&ic and &ilitar% strength relati!e to the West will increase' Hence the
West will increasingl% ha!e to acco&&odate these non$Western &odern ci!ili*ations whose power approaches
that o" the West #t whose !ales and interests di""er signi"icantl% "ro& those o" the West' This will re@ire the
West to &aintain the econo&ic and &ilitar% power necessar% to protect its interests in relation to these
ci!ili*ations' It will also, howe!er, re@ire the West to de!elop a &ore pro"ond nderstanding o" the #asic
religios and philosophical ass&ptions nderl%ing other ci!ili*ations and the wa%s in which people in those
ci!ili*ations see their interests' It will re@ire an e""ort to identi"% ele&ents o" co&&onalit% #etween Western and
other ci!ili*ations' For the rele!ant "tre, there will #e no ni!ersal ci!ili*ation, #t instead a world o" di""erent
ci!ili*ations, each o" which will ha!e to learn to coe+ist with the others'
;,< >rra% Weiden#a&, 9reater China: The Ne+t Econo&ic 7perpower8, 7t' Lois: Washington 4ni!ersit%
Center "or the 7td% o" A&erican Asiness, Conte&porar% Isses, 7eries F-, Fe#rar% ,../, pp' ?$/'
;?< Aernard Lewis, 0The Roots o" >sli& Rage,0 The Atlantic >onthl%, !ol' ?GG, 7epte&#er ,..E, p' Go1 Ti&e,
=ne ,F, ,..?, pp' ?I$?D'
;/< Archie Roose!elt, For Lst o" Bnowing, Aoston: Little, Arown, i.DD, PP //?$///'
;I< Al&ost in!aria#l% Western leaders clai& the% are acting on #ehal" o" 0the world co&&nit%'0 One &inor lapse
occrred dring the rn$p to the 9l" War' In an inter!iew on 09ood >orning A&erica,0 2ec' ?,, ,..E, Aritish
Pri&e >inister =ohn >a3or re"erred to the actions 0the West0 was ta)ing against 7adda& Hssein' He @ic)l%
corrected hi&sel" and s#se@entl% re"erred to 0the world co&&nit%'0 He was, howe!er, right when he erred'
;F< Harr% C' Triandis, The New (or) Ti&es, 2ec' ?7, ,..E, p' I,, and 0Cross$Cltral 7tdies o" Indi!idalis& and
Collecti!is&,0 Ne#ras)a 7%&posi& on >oti!ation, !ol' /-, ,.D., pp' I,$,//'
;G< Bishore >ah##ani, 0The West and the Rest,0 The National Interest, 7&&er ,..?, pp' /$,/'
;-< 7ergei 7tan)e!ich, 0Rssia in 7earch o" Itsel",0 The National Interest, 7&&er ,..?, pp' I-$F,1 2aniel
7chneider, 0A Rssian >o!e&ent Re3ects Western Tilt,0 Christian 7cience >onitor, Fe#' F, ,../, pp' F$-'
;D< Owen Harries has pointed ot that Astralia is tr%ing ;nwisel% in his !iew< to #eco&e a torn contr% in re!erse'
Althogh it has #een a "ll &e&#er not onl% o" the West #t also o" the AACA &ilitar% and intelligence core o" the
West, its crrent leaders are in e""ect proposing that it de"ect "ro& the West, rede"ine itsel" as an Asian contr%
and clti!ate dose ties with its neigh#ors' AstraliaCs "tre, the% arge, is with the d%na&ic econo&ies o" East
Asia' At, as I ha!e sggested, close econo&ic cooperation nor&all% re@ires a co&&on cltral #ase' In
addition, none o" the three conditions necessar% "or a torn contr% to 3oin another ci!ili*ation is li)el% to e+ist in
AstraliaCs case'
7a&el P' Hntington is the Eaton Pro"essor o" the 7cience o" 9o!ern&ent and 2irector o" the =ohn >' Olin
Institte "or 7trategic 7tdies at Har!ard 4ni!ersit%' This article is the prodct o" the Olin InstitteCs pro3ect on 0The
Changing 7ecrit% En!iron&ent and A&erican National Interests'0