• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

A Review of "Clash of Civilizations?"

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

A Review of "Clash of Civilizations?" February 21, 2003 Introduction In the article, "The Clash of Civilizations?" Samuel P. Huntington begins this highly speculative argument by stating that the current and future conflicts in the world are going to be and currently are caused by differences between people or groups from different civilizations. He argues for a theory that "the most important conflicts of the future will occur along the cultural fault lines separating... civilizations from one another" (Huntington, 1993, p.25). He believes that since the end of the Cold War, ideological and economic answers are no longer enough, or even valid. He feels the principal actors are still the nation states, but they are influenced by more than just power and wealth. Other factors like cultural preferences, commonalties, and differences are also influential. Huntington explains that the most important classifications are not the three blocs of the Cold War, but rather the major world civilizations. He argues that in this new era as people identify themselves in terms of their ancestry and heritage, it will create a clash of civilizations. For the most part, it is a theory with which I agree. I do, however, question some of Huntington's components in his theory, as well as his classifications of civilization. ...read more.

Middle

The Beijing Olympics in 2008 may yet become the symbol of this transformation. Interestingly, a week after the World Trade Center was destroyed, China was admitted to the World Trade Organization. That same week, China's foreign minister met with Secretary of State Colin Powell for two hours, promising solidarity, diplomacy, and secret intelligence. "China is also a victim of terrorist attacks," the foreign minister said (Corson, 2001). Huntington pays special attention to the rise of Islamic civilizations because they are large, energetic, growing in power, and have asserted their superiority over Western culture. In the context of the West and Islam, he states that their conflicts "flow from the nature of the two religions and the civilizations based on them" (Huntington, 1996, pp.210-211). Thus, the "ongoing pattern of conflict" (Huntington, 1996, pp. 210-211) between the two civilizations comes from conflicts over the role of religion in politics. Even their similarities become sources of conflicts: their monotheism, which will not accommodate other gods; and their claims that contest the same territory. His thesis has the potential to be extremely dangerous if taken as a prescription for policy making. If the leadership of a major power (i.e., United States), were to accept this world-view and adopt and implement policies based upon it, countries belonging to other "civilizations" would be forced to take counter-measures. ...read more.

Conclusion

I feel as if this theory was a response to the growing tensions between the West and Islam over the past decade or so, and that response was merely a hasty and quick-tempered reaction to fear. In the past few centuries, the West has never experienced a real threat from outside civilizations. It basically has dominated the world in all possible ways and never had a serious danger posed to it by a non-Western force. But today, there exists a very real threat, and that which comes from Islamic extremists, a civilization that is on the opposite side of the spectrum in regards to politics, religion, and the like. The West has realized that any type of attack on Islam, whether it be militaristic or economic, usually is accompanied by repercussions of some sort. One only needs to look at the events of the last 5 years to see the threat that is very real. However, the conflict between the West and Islam does not necessarily mean that the future is going to be characterized by such conflicts between major civilizations. Many more factors need to be looked at, such as conflicts in political ideology, for they are much too important to be ignored. It's important that we analyze how these situations are dealt with and what will be done in the future to combat them so the world can be a peaceful environment. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Account for the tensions between the Islamic World and the West

    Orientalism is very much apart of Western consciousness as it shapes identity it denotes what is Western and what is not, in such it reaffirms the notion of 'us and them.' In the post September the eleventh world the notion of 'us and them' is one that is widely recognised and used.

  2. "Keep the dogs hungry, they will follow you". Such was in essence, the ruling ...

    A few weeks earlier, most observers in the Persian Gulf and Beirut thought the fall of Sultan Said was only a matter of time: "When the oil revenues reach �50 million ($120 million) the British will remove him and put a Tariq in power", said one well-placed source in Abu Dhabi last June.

  1. While surfing the channels on TV you might hear a lot of news about ...

    jailed, was an Egyptian cleric who had been brought into the United States over the objections of the Immigration Service, thanks to the intervention of the CIA which wanted to help out their friend. A couple years later he was blowing up the World Trade Center.

  2. History of the United States

    by making an attack against one member an attack against all. As Europe recovered its prosperity, the focus of East-West confrontation shifted to Asia, where the British, French, and Dutch empires were collapsing and the Communist revolution in China was moving toward its victory (October 1949).

  1. American History.

    A key element was separation of powers and checks and balances. - Then there was the whole should we count slaves dilemma...naturally Southern states wanted them counted for representation purposes and Northern states only wanted them counted for taxation purposes.

  2. Superpower Relations 1945-90

    * 1,400 flights occurred on one day. * 79 American British and Germans died in accidents. * The Airlift cost $100,000,000. In May 1949, Stalin called off the blockade. Why did Stalin's blockade fail? Stalin seriously underestimated the determination of the Western Allies to resist Soviet pressure.

  1. Only Yesterday by Frederick Lewis Allen - review

    more hatred, but only to die away slowly once again after wartime emotions had ebbed away. The decade started off slowly and gloomy, but it would soon pick up, and when it did, there was nothing that could stop it...well, almost nothing.

  2. Michael Moore's "Bowling for Columbine" - review.

    Additionally, the lack of voices makes the actions on screen less human and more tolerable. At the very conclusion, the music cuts out to the sounds of screaming people on September 11th. Moore is trying to prove how wars in other countries "can't be heard" and are thus ignored; however,

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work