Problems in Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations

Discusses flaws in Samuel Huntington’s controversial theory on the source of the Cold War.

In 1993, Harvard professor Samuel Huntington changed the face of international relations when he published ?The Clash of Civilizations?? in `’Foreign Affairs magazine. Huntington?s controversial article later evolved into a book in 1996, entitled ?The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order.? The provocative thesis of the article was that the fundamental source of conflict in the post-Cold War world would be cultural clashes, not ideological disagreements or economic competitions. This paper is a critical argument against Huntington’s theory. The paper argues that his labels of civilizations are weak and that there is, in fact, no Sino-Islamic alliance, a main part of his clash of civilizations theory.
Clearly the history of Russia is one that looks westward culturally and politically. The Russian Orthodox Church is closer to the Catholic Church than the Catholics are to the American Evangelicals. The cultural expressions of Russia, the literature and music, are viewed as comparison points for western culture (westerners put Tolstoy and Chekhov in their frame of cultural reference, but not Tao Qian or Basho) Even Leninism, the defining ideology of the Russian 20th Century, has its roots in two Germans. Russia became, in the Cold War, a part of a newfound east/west delineation that was utilized primarily because it made geographical sense in Europe.`