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Clash as Civilization as Paradigm of Global Politics

  • Date Submitted: 07/24/2012 07:35 PM
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Dil Prasad Prajapati
Anand Shrestha
Non-Western Studies 508-2
22 October 2011

Clash of civilizations: A paradigm for present global politics

Samuel P. Huntington in his book, “The Clash of Civilization and the Remaking of the World” basically makes a hypothesis that the fundamental conflict in the past cold war will not be ideological or economical but will be cultural or civilizational. Huntington says that during the cold war, the world had become bipolar – USA which represented capitalism and USSR which represented communism. But in the post cold war i.e. after the collapse of USSR, the world politics has become multipolar and multi- civilizational. So according to Huntington the cultural identities, which at the broadest level, are civilizational identities, are shaping the pattern of disintegration and conflict in the post-cold world war.
Harvard University Professor Samuel Huntington has produced one of the seminal writings on the notion that culture will be the principal factor that divides the world in the future. In an article titled "The Clash of Civilizations," which was later expanded into a full book, Huntington says: "...The fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. Nation states will remain the most powerful actors in world affairs, but the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations. The clash of civilizations will dominate global politics." (Foreign Affairs, 1993)
Huntington defines a civilization as "the highest cultural grouping of people and the broadest level of cultural identity people have.... It is defined by both common objective elements, such as language, history, religion, customs, institutions, and by the subjective self-identification of people." In doing so, he divides the world into major cultural groups...

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