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The clash of civilizations by Samuel P Huntington - MCQS Study Notes

The clash of civilizations by Samuel P Huntington

The Clash of Civilizations is a controversial theory in international relations. It was originally formulated in an article by Samuel P. Huntington entitled “The Clash of Civilizations” published in the American journal Foreign Affairs in 1993. The term itself was first used by Bernard Lewis in the September 1990 issued of The Atlantic Monthly entitled “The Roots of Muslim Rage.” Huntington later expanded his thesis in a 1996 book “The Clash of Civilizations and the remaking of World Order”

Samuel P. Huntington’s “The Clash of Civilizations”


Huntington began his thinking by surveying the diverse thing about the nature of global politics in the post-Cold War period. Some theorist and writers argued that liberal democracy and Western values had become the only remaining ideological alternatives or, specifically in the case of Francis Fukuyama, that the world had reached the end of history in a Hegelian sense, Huntington believed that while the age of ideology had ended, the world had only reverted to a normal state of affairs characterized by cultural conflict. In the article, he argued that the primary axis of conflict in the 21st Century would be along cultural and religious lines. As an extension, he posited that the concept of different civilizations in the clash of civilizations, as the highest ranking of cultural identity, would increasingly become useful in analyzing the potential for conflict. In the Foreign Affairs article, Huntington writes:

“It is my hypothesis that 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 civilization will dominate the global politics. The fault lines between civilizations will be battle lines of the future.”

Due to an enormous response and solidification of his reviews, Huntington later expanded the thesis in his 1996 book “The Clash of Civilization and Remaking of World Order”

Using various studies of history, but of course making certain decision, in the Clash of Civilizations Huntington divided the civilizations as such:

      • Western Christendom, centered on Europe and North America but also including Australia and New Zealand, Whether Latin America and the former member states of the Soviet Union are included, or are instead their own separate civilizations, will be an important future consideration for those regions, according to Huntington.
      • The orthodox world of Orthodox and/or Eastern Europe and Russia.
      • Latin America
      • The Muslim World of the Middle East, North America, South Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia
      • The Hindu Civilization, located chiefly in India, Nepal, and adhered by the global non-resident Indian and person of Indian origin.
      • The Sinic Civilization of China, Vietnam, Singapore, Taiwan.
      • Sub Saharan Africa
      • The Buddhist Areas of Northern India, Nepal, Bhutan, Mongolia, Buryatia, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Tibet.
      • Japan, considered an independent civilization.

Huntington argued in the Clash of Civilizations that the trends of global conflict were increasingly appearing at these civilizational divisions. Wars such as those following the breakup of Yugoslavia, in Chechnya, and between India and Pakistan were cited as evidence of inter-civilizational conflict.


Samuel P. Huntington’s “The Clash of Civilizations and remaking of world order” Book in PDF



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