Monday, February 06, 2006

The Clash of Civilizations

Samuel P. Huntington in a rather prescient paper in 1993,observed that the foremost risk for the future was in the underlying cultures of people and not the nation state.The pardigm shifts caused by globalisation have changed the role of the nation states as they become "clubs" as opposed to individual sovereign states.

In his treatise he suggests the rising role of culture as the new area of conflict as the clash of multi national intergration begins.

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.

These conflicts between princes, nation states and ideologies were primarily conflicts within Western civilization, "Western civil wars," as William Lind has labeled them. This was as true of the Cold War as it was of the world wars and the earlier wars of the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. With the end of the Cold War, international politics moves out of its Western phase, and its center- piece becomes the interaction between the West and non-Western civilizations and among non-Western civilizations. In the politics of civilizations, the peoples and governments of non-Western civilizations no longer remain the objects of history as targets of Western colonialism but join the West as movers and shapers of history

Civilization identity will be increasingly important in the future, and the world will be shaped in large measure by the interactions among seven or eight major civilizations. These include Western, Confucian, Japanese, Islamic, Hindu, Slavic-Orthodox, Latin American and possibly African civilization. The most important conflicts of the future will occur along the cultural fault lines separating these civilizations from one another.

Cultural conflicts as seen since the end of the cold war ,such as in Ruwanda ,Yugoslavia,and in the Horn of Africa and the Darfur region may indeed be precurser indices of the forthcoming epidemic.

http://www.alamut.com/subj/economics/misc/clash.html

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