In this text, the author argues that as people increasingly define themselves by ethnicity and religion, the West will find itself more and more at odds with non-western civilizations that reject its ideals of democracy, human rights, liberty, the rule of law, and the separation of the church and state. Picturing a future of accelerated conflict ...Read MoreIn this text, the author argues that as people increasingly define themselves by ethnicity and religion, the West will find itself more and more at odds with non-western civilizations that reject its ideals of democracy, human rights, liberty, the rule of law, and the separation of the church and state. Picturing a future of accelerated conflict and increasingly "de-Westernized" international relations, this text further argues for greater understanding of non-western civilizations and offers strategies for maximizing Western influence.Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 1996-09-09 Huntington here extends the provocative thesis he laid out in a recent (and influential) Foreign Affairs essay: we should view the world not as bipolar, or as a collection of states, but as a set of seven or eight cultural "civilizations"?one in the West, several outside it?fated to link and conflict in terms of that civilizational identity. Thus, in sweeping but dry style, he makes several vital points: modernization does not mean Westernization; economic progress has come with a revival of religion; post-Cold War politics emphasize ethnic nationalism over ideology; the lack of leading "core states" hampers the growth of Latin America and the world of Islam. Most controversial will be Huntington's tough-minded view of Islam. Not only does he point out that Muslim countries are involved in far more intergroup violence than others, he argues that the West should worry not about Islamic fundamentalism but about Islam itself, "a different civilization whose people are convinced of the superiority of their culture and are obsessed with the inferiority of their power." While Huntington notes that the war in Bosnia hardened into an ethno-religious clash, he downplays the possibility that such splintering could have been avoided. Also, his fear of multiculturalism as a source of American weakness seems unconvincing and alarmist. Huntington directs the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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