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the-clash-of-civilizations-1 - The Clash of Civilizations...

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Unformatted text preview: The Clash of Civilizations? Samuel P. Huntington FOREIGN AFFAIRS Volume 72 • Number 3 Foreign Affairs The contents of © 1993 Council on Foreign Relations, Inc. All rights reserved. are copyrighted. S UMMER 1993 The Clash of Civilizations? Samuel P. Huntingdon THE NEXT PATTERN OF CONFLICT WORLD POLITICS is entering a new phase, and intellectuals have not hesitated to proliferate visions of what it will be—the end of his- tory, the return of traditional rivalries between nation states, and the decline of the nation state from the conflicting pulls of tribalism and globalism, among others. Each of these visions catches aspects of the emerging reality. Yet they all miss a crucial, indeed a central, aspect of what global politics is likely to be in the coming years. 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 civilizations will dominate global politics. The fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future. Conflict between civilizations will be the latest phase in the evo- lution of conflict in the modern world. For a century and a half after the emergence of the modern international system with the Peace of Westphalia, the conflicts of the Western world were largely among SAMUEL P. HUNTINGTON is the Eaton Professor of the Science of Government and Director of the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University. This article is the product of the Olin Institute's project on "The Changing Security Environment and American National Interests." [22] The Clash of Civilizations? princes—emperors, absolute monarchs and constitutional monarchs attempting to expand their bureaucracies, their armies, their mer- cantilist economic strength and, most important, the territory they ruled. In the process they created nation states, and beginning with the French Revolution the principal lines of conflict were between nations rather than princes. In 1793, as R. R. Palmer put it, "The wars of kings were over; the wars of peoples had begun." This nineteenth- century pattern lasted until the end of World War I. Then, as a result of the Russian Revolution and the reaction against it, the conflict of nations yielded to the conflict of ideologies, first among communism, fascism-Nazism and liberal democracy, and then between commu- nism and liberal democracy. During the Cold War, this latter conflict became embodied in the struggle between the two superpowers, nei- ther of which was a nation state in the classical European sense and each of which defined its identity in terms of its ideology....
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the-clash-of-civilizations-1 - The Clash of Civilizations...

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