The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order by Samuel P.

Huntington Review by: Robert Marks Journal of World History, Vol. 11, No. 1 (Spring, 2000), pp. 101-104 Published by: University of Hawai'i Press Stable URL: . Accessed: 08/02/2012 10:03
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tory. difference. and once again are. By Samuel p. 1996. and con identity. and espe here? Because Huntington cially about historical be made aware of. has classified Samuel Hunt the Library of Congress Surprisingly. $14 (paper). largest are drawing which flict have been.Book Reviews The Clash of Civilizations and theRemaking of World Order. Further. 367. continuity?a claim that world historians should thesis is that the bipolarity of the Cold War obscured Huntington's a fundamental fact about the world and its history: namely. once again the countries and peoples previously divided by together From this premise. and bond with other states lizational elements within to Western in Europe up to the civilization (in particular belonging States should borders of the former Soviet Union). gussied up with what the author believes to "history tells us" or "throughout references least numerous history. its own borders." which in the realm of political science book belongs Huntington's specula to be "history"?or at tion. New York: Simon & Schuster. that the units of common human action. either in scope or in method. civilizations. So why isThe Clash of Civilizations being reviewed makes a big claim about history." to prove his points. Huntington explicitly hopes his book will provide policymakers (and others?) with a new paradigm to replace of international relations the "realist" school's paradigm 101 . the United sees as the two major gird itself for conflict with what Huntington to Western civilization?the Chinese (which he labels challengers that "Sinic") and Islamic civilizations. it assuredly Rather. Pp. Huntington. goes on to make its States: understand for the United foreign policy recommendations civi clear and leading role within Western bolster those civilization. $26 (cloth). Huntington Cold War politics. and the Remaking ofWorld Order as "his Clash of Civilizations ington^ is not.

5). Serbia. it's not the only one. 121). (Russia. (p.I02 JOURNAL OF WORLD HISTORY. First. Certainly approach one. or the Sinic. which in terms of primarily and social structures" institutions. beliefs. 47). civilizations viewing the nation in giving this picture of the world gone wrong count the ways. 40). Latin American. Orthodox Japanese. in particular and the Chinese tells us" that civilizations and also?because Islamic. good book is bad history Huntington's in the the place of their material and approach historians recognize a civilizationist context of other interpretations. in particular "values. by a combination powered . Islamic civilizations the rise of east Asia includes Chinese and Japan (which Driving ese civilizations) is rapid economic the rise of Islam is growth. go "history to the West now through inevitable cycles of rise and fall?challenges a phase of decline that it is entering the Sinic and (chap. lizations: Taiwan. 49-50). Orthodox. Korea. It is impossible "Human history in any other terms" (p. to this other way of viewing world history: is oblivious Huntington to think is the history of civilizations. But to world history. in at least five ways. Using "seven or eight" contemporary civi includes calculations. of religious revival and high birth rates. a thumbnail He then provides sketch (and quite standard) historical to the story of of the relations among civilizations. thus points to "Islam's bloody ilizations can deal (p. the Western-dominated sees all this as "destabilizing Huntington established international order" matters. Islamic. resulting source of threat to other civilizations" because there is no single power or Sinic civ with which the core states ofWestern. 177)? Huntington as a particular kind of "fault line" war between borders" (pp. Complicating is the absence in Islamic civilization of a "core believes. the Orthodox. 45-47). this broad religion (p. emphasizing with the West. affairs). has China). China. while from other civilizations. mostly through definition. as revealed (p. is a legitimate the one Huntington adopts. Western. (pp. as the work of world-systems theorists attests. Hindu. This "rise" generated and Vietnam). and How has Huntington its history? Let me Islam's fundamental and continuing conflict resentment identifies Huntington the Sinic (Chinese. and possibly African Greece). 254-58) civilizations. which in "a which has Russia. reveals his quoting Huntington . 4) while are on the "rise" (chap. 42). Despite of humanity of the development from Braudel and listing Wallerstein. which has the United States. . Huntington state" (unlike the West. Hindu. which boils down "the rise of the West" from 1500 on (pp. SPRING 2000 (governed by power maximization state as the primary actor in world Huntington begins by defining culture. .

Asia understanding is poor. pp. 93 or 107). of the secondary primary sources. and understanding is fair game. (and in Islam. in the the process of modernization modernization theory. And his selection of sources on. At times he seems part of the world I am most familiar with. only is he confused to "Asia." but in the model about how to apply his own civilizational sources from the section on China he appears to rely on secondary sources for me to tell)? and 1960s (he does not cite enough 1950s particularly Harvard professors who created a "Western impact/Asian between a for understanding Chinese and Japanese history. civilization is his entities. or nonexistent" contacts between civiliza "fact" of the "intermittent are tions. the Ottomans. peoples A sole unit of analysis for understanding the world.. published of "civiliza about the utility of the concept McNeill raised questions are more or less about the idea that civilizations tion. let alone finer but still important differ Sunni and Shi'ite ences among and between in virtually every part of the world. Thus Huntington Ladled on top of this curious view is his own outdated civilizations. is most Furthermore.Book Reviews 103 ignorance of the field of world history. in general and China the of. in particular. McNeill's William in this journal in 1990. sources: Since comparative historians Second. distinguishing very nor not discussing "the troubles" in Northern the West Ireland)." and especially not existing in a broader "ecumenical" world of interac autonomous. Had others into the same undifferentiated and China. rely on the work of to task for not having used Iwill not take Huntington other historians. whereby some people to modernize in forces other civilizations West (although states in other civilizations that what was needed believed mistakenly was Westernization). lumping the political stew (p. to equate "Asia" with "East Asia." disreputable histories of Russia. He thus paints with a of analysis used for understanding in Protestant neither and Catholic broad brush. response" model model that has not been used for well over a decade. though. Huntington thus appears to have read identifiable historical not his critique of that work but Rise of theWest. is that "civilizations" assumption." thereby lumping India and Pakistan with China and Japan (e. he looked for . while at other times he as if he had forgotten his initial distinction talks about "East Asia" hence Not Sinic and Japanese civilizations. and of the debate over the units world history. His fundamental of course. to imagine today a world of discrete is doomed tion. 140).g. and sources. use. in which after twenty-five years. Huntington impressed by the differences are attributed to the supposed most of which among civilizations. His selection. He even resur rects the thoroughly thesis about "Oriental despotism.

method: Huntington pulls together times and places as evidence for his claims. should be Historians that he cal agenda everywhere use of their discipline in conjuring offended by Huntington's up Chi to "Western civilization" nese and Islamic enemies and the state Hunt States. and Japan. Huntington (p. conditions historical (what he calls contemporary fallacy. Fourth. 288-91). but he asserts mined by civilizational and Islamic "fault-line" civilizational Orthodox. does acknowledge which Huntington behalf of the Bosnian Muslims. 21). morality: and to that extent it is obscene. leading to grand generalizations history of any particular in the world has of languages like "throughout history the distribution of power in the world" (p. but states. He ismore from numerous the in social science model than in understanding interested building civilization. Huntington ing away this "anomaly" (pp. bringing Western. as scholarship. A little knowl the United ington sees as its primary defender. ing fundamental claims that peoples and countries. rather. this book is politics masquerading Lastly. In this last instance. of course. edge (in Huntington's ROBERT MARKS Whittier College . 281). he has a domestic politi shapes is pushing. The problem (chap. is simply this: "With the end of the it is the answer. of history) certainly can be dangerous. naturally to the natural civilizational of their interests and actions on clumping stage. into close contact and conflict civilizations 11). And yet when he issue. Huntington might have learned much on other parts of the world too. and to which States?" is now the enemy of the United who or what Soviet Union. The hidden question behind this book. argument: Huntington of "Who am I?" and "Where do I questions asking the existential to others of like cultures. (p.io4 JOURNAL OF WORLD HISTORY. Huntington even in the clash of civilizations states will be deter between that the cleavages His favorite case study is Bosnia. or statements reflected the distribution humans about "the sources of conflict between history" throughout commits the anachronistic 208). just does say that be sure. 96). SPRING 2000 on from recent scholarship it. in understanding the past and the way it is not interested Huntington and international the present. on States is that the United intervened with this analysis. the primary actors particular as the "realist school" predicts. and probably China anecdotes historical Third. a differences. gravitate leading belong?" (p. obscur "the classic [conflicts] of international politics") differences between past and present. as "a noncivilizational in the otherwise universal pattern of anomaly then spends some time explain kin backing kin" (p. To states will remain primary actors the world comes right down to analyzing any are not civilizations. projecting into the past. case. 62).

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