The Clash of Civilizations: a Summary of Samuel Huntington’s Controversial Political Analysis and Its Critics

2367 WordsNov 27, 201210 Pages
POLI 100 - F10N01 Gabrielle Bishop The Clash of Civilizations: A Summary of Samuel Huntington’s controversial Political Analysis and its Critics “Culture and cultural identities, which at the broadest level are civilizational identities, are shaping patterns of cohesion, disintegration, and conflict in the post-Cold War World” - Samuel Huntington POLI 100 - F10N01! Gabrielle Bishop In a 1993 article published in Foreign Affairs, Harvard Professor of Government and Political Scientist Samuel Huntington made a prediction for the 21st century that would go on to be both disputed and supported by experts around the globe. As the Iron Curtain of ideology of the Cold War had fallen, Huntington theorized that a new “Velvet Curtain” of…show more content…
However, not all nations have been successful in identifying with one particular culture, Huntington states, referring to Mexico, Turkey, Russia, and Australia 25. These states, he says, could be described as “torn countries”26; countries which are torn between multiple cultural identities - the tradition cultural identity they’ve held, and the new cultural identity they wish to adopt. “A torn country... has a single predominant culture which places it in one civilization, but its leaders want to shift it to another civilization. They say, in effect, ‘We are different peoples and belong in different places’”27. In “Chapter 7: Core States, Concentric States, and Civilized Order”, Huntington states that a small, powerful number of core states will be the centre of a new structure of civilizations. France and Germany are examples of these states in the European Union. He goes on to describe “core states”, the divide between Western Europe (Protestantism & Catholicism) and Eastern Europe (Orthodox Christianity & Islam), and the lack of a core state in Islam. In “Part 4: Clashes of Civilizations” (arguably the most important section of the book), Samuel Huntington predicts that “In the emerging world, the relations between states and groups from different civilizations will not be close, and will often be antagonistic.”28 He hypothesizes that the three

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