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Lecture

Alternative Futures.docx


Department
Political Science
Course Code
POL208Y1
Professor
Lilach Gilady

Page:
of 11
01/04/2014
The West has one
Democracy and market capitalism as good as it gets: Not much room for progress
“triumphalism”
Hegel: History is uin essense a competition at ideas
Dialectics: Once progress reaches maximum optimization, one idea wins and history ends
Napoleon: liberte, egalite, fraternite
Challenges: Fascism, communism
1990’s: the third wave (Huntington): The collapse of communism: no alternative, challengers defeated,
the west has one
Parts of the world are ‘still in history’; they will follow suit
It does not mean the cessation of ‘events’
Liberalism: Kant’s Perpetual Peace
The rise of new ideologies? Alternative organizations of society? Contradictions within Western
capitalism?
The Coming Clash of Civilizations (1993)
Conflict will remain a central feature of world politics in the coming century
Civilizations rather than ideologies or economic blocs as the main agents of conflicts
Civilizations will not replace nation states but will provide the ‘glue’ that keeps alliances and defines
interests
Civilizations include language, history, values, customs, religion, social cultures
Battlegrounds of the Future
Fault lines between civilizations will be the battlegrounds of the future and have been the battlegrounds
of the past
Prescription: Divide and rule
Russel and Oneal (2000)
Said that we should find a higher number of wars that happen between civilizations; statistically
this has not happened
Europe as evidence: EU and NATO enlargement (Turkey)
Do civilizations exist? Are they unitary actors? Another framing of traditional power politics?
A self fulfilling prophecy?
War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War by John Dower (1987)
War in Japan was much more brutal; things that happened in Japan didn’t happen in Europe
Japan culminates with the dropping of the atomic bomb
Racial stereotypes fueled and intensified hostilities
The last year of the war, when victory was just a matter of time, saw as many casualties as those
suffered during the first five years of the war
Japan vs. Germany
On the Japanese side, Americans are portrayed as dandruff, demon, cannibalistic ogres, gangsters,
Napoleonic megalomaniacs; Other Asians were portrayed as having darker skinned natives, “half-
naked and implicitly half-civilized”
A mirror image – we are fighting an inhumane, cruel, yet interior enemy; allows for and justifies
atrocities; unconditional surrender – no room for compromise
Fighting in the Pacific was especially brutal, in numerous cases captured enemy soldiers were killed
rather than taken prisoners
Globalization and Fragmentation
Benjamin Barber,
McWorld vs. Jihad (1996)
Simultaneous and enforcing processes; McWorld and Jihad
Globalization: The flow of Western capital, goods, people, ideas  McWorld
Fragmentation: Tribalization, intensely protected local identities, “Lebanonization” of nation states
Jihad (not limited to the Muslim world; not civilization based
Universalism vs. Particularism
No End of History: Jihad will not become McWorld; it is partially a reaction to McWorld
What is the future of democracy within these processes and the clash between them? Barber is not
optimistic
A twilight to sovereignty? – the future of the nation state; challenged by McWorld AND Jihad AND
communities below the state
What is Human Security?
Broadening the traditional definition of security
Food, water, health, environment, torture, discrimination; thinking of the future in different terms that
don’t just talk about peace and conflict in War
A moral argument – Security is about protecting lives; it is about people – if people are dying because
they are hungry, they are insecure
A functional argument: These issues lead to instability, they cross borders, they can lead to war,
terrorism, etc.
How can one develop a “human security policy”?
Under what conditions can foreign powers intervene?
The potential importance of re-framing issues as security
However – when everything becomes ‘security’ the concept may become meaningless
The problem of securitization
Where do we go from here?
More questions than answers in this course; Asking the right questions is a big step in the direction of
finding answers
There is never one answer; Competing perspectives