Clash Of Civilizations

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The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order by Samuel P. Huntington is an extremely well written and insightful book. Samuel P. Huntington is the Albert J. Weatherhead III University Professor at Harvard University, director of the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies, the chairman of the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, and the president of the American Political Science Association. During the Carter administration, Huntington was the director of security planning for the National Security Council. He is also the founder and coeditor of the highly regarded international affairs publication, Foreign Policy. In 1993 Samuel P. Huntington wrote an article for the respected journal Foreign Affairs titled “The Clash of Civilizations?”. This article was very controversial and stirred up much debate among scholars, politicians, and anyone interested in the future of international affairs. His book, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, is a more detailed exploration of the ideas and predictions put forth in his article. Huntington believes that with the end of the Cold War, the world is divided along the borders of civilizations and religion rather than the boundaries of countries. He identifies eight clearly distinct civilizations: Western (the United States and western Europe), Islamic, Sinic (primarily China), Orthodox (primarily Russia), Japanese, Hindu, Latin American, and African. A pervasive presumption in the Western world is that with the fall of communism, the West has “won” and that the rest of the world will now embrace democracy and Western culture. Huntington disagrees with this presumption. In his book, Huntington shows us how civilizations and cultural identities are shaping the post-Cold War world. In the first part of the book, Huntington describes how the world has gone from being bipolar during the Cold War, to being multipolar in the post-Cold War era. During the Cold War the world was basically divided along the lines of the “democracy vs. communism” conflict. Now that the Cold War is over, lines are being drawn along various ethnic and religious lines. Huntington uses many diverse examples such as the fighting between tribes and clans in Rwanda and Somalia, the clash of ethnic groups in Bosnia, and the conflicts in Sri Lanka, India, and Sudan. Throughout his book, for each ... ... middle of paper ... ... also build on the cultural commonality between European countries and the United States. Huntington also suggests that Western countries must develop economic and political ties to match their collaborated dedication to security issues. He states that an increased political and economic unity among Western nations will offset the relative decline in their share of the world’s population and economic influence. In summary, Huntington believes that the future of the world depends on understanding and cooperation between the leaders of the world’s civilizations. He is a realist and believes that clashes between civilizations will be the greatest threat to world peace and stability. Throughout “The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order” Huntington gives numerous persuasive arguments to convince his audience that he is correct. Huntington has a writing style that is precise and direct. His mastery of the subject is obvious and his use of facts and examples to prove his point is very convincing. This book is a very important text and is recommended to anyone who is involved in the study of international relations or is interested in the current state of world politics.
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