Clash of Civilizations

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Western University
Political Science
Political Science 3398F/G
Richard Vande Wetering

CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS SUMMARY • ideological civil war • believes that the fall of the soviet union as an old model of a world of civilizations • politics of the 90s civilizations lining up against eachother • belief that you are part of a civilization will affect foreign policy • main predictor of interactions and the best predictor • states predict natural alliances based on similar cultures, conflict will occur along borders that divide civilizations the fault lines • flashpoints for serious conflicts will happen along borders between civilizations - this pattern will strengthen HUMAN NATURE • Identity: all humans crave or need meaning - need a story, questions of who are we. there is a reality that we need identity, but he favors no particular one. content of the identity doesn't seem to matter • Rationality: people use this to get what they want. doesn't put forward a worthwhile goal for everyone to have. All goals have equal value • Othering: thinks that this is natural, its something that all humans do. and is closely linked to identity, but it is something that is real. • people are always tempted to divide people into us and them the in group and the other our civilization and those barbarians • identity at any level personal, tribal, racial and civilizational can only be defined in relation to an other a different person tribe race or civilization • the ubiquity of conflict. it is human to hate. for self definition and motivation people need enemies...they naturally distrust and see threats those who are different and have the capability to harm them • there are some things that are real that are common to all people and are not socially constructed • most of our society is socially constructed and is determined by pretty much where you are born • there are no privileged societies, every identity is as right or wrong as the next and they are social constructions • Civilization: the highest cultural grouping of people and the broadest level of cultural identity people have short of that which distinguishes humans from other species. It is defined both by common objective elements, such as language history religion, customs institutions and by the subjective self identification of people • there is nothing higher or farther than civilization that human beings can identify with • Core State: most powerful and culturally central state or states - some civilizations have a core state and others dont the ones who dont struggle more than the ones that do • Member State • Lone Country: suggest that there are some civilizations that have kept to themselves Cleft Country: split between two civilizations - especially useful when discussing places like Africa Torn country: has a single predominant culture which places it in one civilization but its • leaders want to shift it to another civilization THREE PART ARGUMENT • Argument: for the first time in history global politics is multi civilizational • - reference to global politics, he would want to say its newish, relatively isolated from one another • - came on the heels of western expansion - was open to modernization • - hard to see sometimes that things are universal and that this isnt what people want • - its not natural for people to want what our civilization wants, what we have • - the west no longer has a monopoly over all other nations • Argument 2: the fact that a number of strong civilizations will order IR • - pattern has reasserted itself • Argument 3: the previously dominant civilization (the west)has failed to recognize the changes in the world • the west doesnt recognize the rest of the world and that is the biggest problem FOUR MAIN INTERCIVILIZAT
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