Twenty Years of the “Clash of Civilizations”

It is the twentieth anniversary of Samuel Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations” idea.

Jeff Haynes does not like the idea. In a piece in e-International Relations, he concludes:

It is clear – to me, at least – that the very idea of a world divided into ‘seven, or eight major civilizations’ (p. 25) is absurd … anyone who can possibly take seriously the idea of a world divided into ‘seven, or eight major civilizations’ lacks capacity to have any possible understanding of our fascinating mosaic of a world filled with myriad ideas, norms, beliefs and conceptions of how the world is.

Not very convincing.

First, there is the intolerance of any disagreement:

the very idea … is absurd … anyone who can possibly take seriously … lacks capacity to have any possible understanding

Second there is the multiculturalist sloganeering (unsupported by any facts):

our fascinating mosaic of a world filled with myriad ideas, norms, beliefs and conceptions of how the world is.

This is the mantra of the joy of diversity.

Third, there is the civilization denialism. Reasonable people can disagree how many civilizations there are. But it is unreasonable to deny that there are a small number of major civilizations in the world.

As I concluded some months ago, there are some flaws in Huntington’s account, but there are also some great insights.

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One response to “Twenty Years of the “Clash of Civilizations”

  1. Pingback: Denialism | Breviosity

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