Lecture 23 Reading Summary

Samuel huntington the clash of civilizations

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Unformatted text preview: which one they belong. Huntington also states that civilizations can include nations or people of varying numbers. Why do civilizations clash? The author notes that the West evidently has global dominance and in most areas of competition, the West has specifically exceptional usage of its power and influence to preserve that status. He then states that the future conflicts between the West and, well the Rest, will center on either power or cultural differences. Huntington explains that reactions of non- Western countries to the dominance of the West fall into three categories: isolation (e.g., North Korea and some African states), joining the West (Canada, Australia) or modernization (e.g., Japan and China). He hints that an increase of an “us vs. them” or the west vs. the rest attitude between ethnically and religiously different people will be the ultimate cause of conflict. He also states that micro- conflicts will occur along civilizational borders, while macro- conflicts will happen where power and ideology are in question. World conflicts will occur, for the following reasons: • • • • • • There are differences among civilizations that in the past have led to violence, which evidently of course the causes of wars. There are more people from different civilizations are coming into contact with each other Economic and social development has demoted nationalism in favor of religion as the dominant place of identity Even though the West has never been more powerful in both cultural and economic influence, non- Western civilizations have been promoting indigenization It is easier to change economic and political differences than it is to change cultural ones Regional trade has increased among similar cultures and floundered among dissimilar ones He goes on to talk about the “torn countries: which he describes as nations that are considered “torn” when they have diverse populations or when they can’t decide which civilization they belong to, and whether to join the west. He lists three: Turkey, Mexico and Russia. However, rather than trying to join the West, many countries in the Confucian and Islamic civilizations have a much bigger probability of becoming militarily powerful on their own. Huntington makes it clear that the Con...
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This note was uploaded on 09/20/2013 for the course POL 231 taught by Professor Mduke during the Summer '08 term at University of Toronto.

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