In the name of God the munificent the merciful
“The Clash of Civilizations Or Dialogue among them”
Mr. Samuel Huntington (1927-2008) was a political scientist. He is famous of his Theory “The Clash of Civilizations” (1) that first time in 1993 he considered it by writing an article and publishes it in “Foreign Affair” journal. Later on a book with this title, that has become “a classic work of international relations and one of the most influential books ever written about foreign affairs” (2). But why this non-scientific theory became so famous?!!
When we want to have a look on every phenomenon (especially social or political one) we should see it in its particular context (I mean the time and the situation of its bearing and bearer of it,). Look at 1990s (the time of coming this theory to exist), the Soviet Union is collapsed, long term and strong fight of US-USSR is finished and US loosed its chief and key enemy, now US governing which is organized with the mechanism of cold and hot war with USSR, is faces with the specific hesitation and vacuum,
On the other hand US and their allies face with the situation that their blocs now have, no necessity to continue their existence more, because their rivals destroyed their counterpart. For example the “Warsaw Treaty” is ended by The East side, and in contrast the demand for ending the “NATO Treaty” is rising,
In this atmosphere that the US desire lead them to continue its forwarding movement toward absolute domination on the other second hand world power, say something else, it suggests them to save their provided mechanism (like NATO), but how it can passible to take high military budget, when you have no enemy?
The other factor was standing on the eve of 21TH century that “the world” had eagerly awaiting for it, to have a non-violent and pacific century in 21th and put the bloodiest century (the 20th) behind. so US face with an obligation to put military system away, but their think-tank says something else, they say that you are on top and peak of power and you are the super power with no equal capacity in front, so why you don’t want to dominate your hegemony all corner of the world?!!.
At this atmosphere Mr Samuel Huntington come to help with the US design-maker to find new enemy and so the continues of pervious situation. He make a theory available that contains so many enemies for the West bloc that for long time the US and their Partners can engage with them. In this collection of enemy that for a first time arranged from civilizations now, the war is not based on traditional economic or political interests, but in this new version of enmity this is the culture that determined who is the “other” and who is “us”. These enemies cover most or the world nations like china, Japanese, Hindu, Islamic countries, Orthodox part of world, Latin American and African.
So the West surprisingly develops his enemy from the Soviet Union territories to the whole world (except west bloc). At this time nobody can say why NATO is going on and expand it member or for what purpose the West is continue huge military budget?
Mr Samuel Huntington‘s book although is not contain a scientific theory but is face with a vast number of people who buy to read it, because of prediction‘s aspects of this theory. It was the time that world was in the eve of 21th and nobody knows that what will happen in new century so this theory had vast variation of new world battlefields. So in 1990s‘s darkness future forecasting, a small light in future forecasting is something that has so many devotees that eagerly wait for it to welcome and so Huntington‘s book face with huge readers.
At the early first 21th decade, When the world realized of new west’s strategy and see it in the practical way by attacking the West to Afghanistan and Iraq and the long waiting list of other nations which will attack in future, we can see the remarkable respond to former Iranian president Mr Syed Mohammad Khatami, asking the world for “dialogue among civilisations” in contrast to clash among them (as Mr Huntington made it necessary for new century). So 2001 get a name by the UN General Assembly as year of dialogue among civilisations. Dialogue as a Seed for a new view of world in new International Relations.
When you have look in Mr Huntington‘s theory you can see the dualism approach as we have in other orientalists as well. The Other-making and also plus giving way to design-makers are available in the theory.
Mr Huntington‘s theory that is expanded in his article in 1993 is a uncovered West desire and it show that the dualism way of seeing and interpreting of any political event even by west scientists is how. He believes that facing the “West” and the “Rest” is inevitable and the Rest have no chose and have to accept the West values and this is a process that is going on and if not, the clash between them is ready to happen.
The triangle of the West “power”, “interests” and “values” have very big role in Mr Huntington‘s theory to bow the “Rest” in front of the “West” and the metric which say the size of the west‘s enemy is “other” ‘s culture.
Mr Huntington‘s theory is based on political event analysis and although he announce that the culture have an axis role in future clashes, but there is no sociology element in this theory and he made a homogenous West which confronted with “Rest”.
15 November 2012 - By seyed mostafa mostafavi - M.A Student - Indian Subcontinent Studies - Faculty of World Studies - Tehran University
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