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Putri Irma Ayudita 1206230284

A Presentation Review;
Politic Discussion: Politics of Cultural
Difference &
The Change for Civility by Prof. Dr. Thomas
Meyer
Hilmar Farid, PhD and Dr. Ario Seto Hardjana
This thoughtful exploration of identity, culture and fundamentalism
focuses on a critically important question confronting so many
countries, are culturally determined political conflicts rooted in the
cultures themselves, or spawned only by their political
instrumentalization. Professor Meyer presents and critiques, at both
the conceptual and empirical level, celebrated argument about the
inevitability of violent conflict between different civilizations.
While acknowledging people's need to adopt identities, and that
cultures necessarily imply differentiated identities, Professor Meyer
argues that most religions share core values, and difference only
leads to intolerance and violence when politically ambitious
leaderships exploit it. This is what creates the essentially political
phenomenon of fundamentalism, which occurs, as he shows, in all
civilizations, with contemporary societies having proved themselves
particularly prone. What provides the historical occasion is social
crisis, of which he gives numerous examples from both
industrialized and Third World countries. In the present age of
globalization, Meyer suggests that social crisis grows out of an
exclusionary dynamic that marginalizes growing numbers of people.
Little wonder that the deepening of inequality between nations has
undermined popular confidence in secular leaders vision of
development and triggered a divisive fundamentalism that declares
war on modernism and, ironically on traditionalism too.
The primary idea is that the instrumentalist use crises to politicize
culture, an essentially non-political entity, accordingly manipulating
the modern nihilist's of longing for meaning to create the politically
useful cultural cleavage. Meyer's orientation, which makes it not
only substantively relevant but it is also indicative of general
development in the field that being widening intellectual. Meyer
uses the theoretical context of modernity with numerous practical
examples to discuss the debate prevalent in contemporary
discourse on conflict and peace. He also evaluates the roles of crisis
and globalization in the rise of cultural fundamentalism and offers
some empirical evidence to substantiate.
This argument, contains real grounds for optimism. In seeking
political strategies to defeat fundamentalism and the identity mania
that accompanies it, the focus must be on developing economic and

Putri Irma Ayudita 1206230284


social structures that do not exclude or make people insecure, but
that give all citizens a common interest in the operations of a
socially responsible market economy, which delivers to all.