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why a civilizational model approach will be useful at this time, i.e. now that the Cold War model is obsolete, and until a new more suitable paradigm emerges to replace the civilizational one

Well, he sure argues for why it would be practical, but I don't think it has panned out that way. The West and the rest appears correct, but more in an empirial way then civilizational.

The post-cold war conflicts has not been between civilizational blocs, nor have the border areas in Huntingtons map been more conflicted then other areas (afaik). Looking at conflicts, I'd say that they occured within most blocs - except the West and Japan - and mostly started or at least supported by the West. And when the happens faultlines within society gets more marked as the state that upheld a common identity is destroyed or at least humiliated. As many has noted before, Sunni/Shia maps of Middle eastern countries or cities could instead be painted with different ethnicities in London or New York, except then the underlying racism would be clear.

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by A swedish kind of death on Mon Mar 3rd, 2014 at 10:40:38 AM EST
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You remind me of another point I wanted to make: Huntington's choice of "civilisation" is rather arbitrary.

  • He chooses to separate Orthodox and Western [Christianity], but keeps Sunni and Shi'a together, although Lebanon and Iraq and Pakistan and Bahrain showed that there is plenty of supra-national conflict potential there.
  • As for Christianity, the Orthodox-Western border is not that sharp, especially in the Ukraine: the "Western" Christians there are Greek Catholics who are Eastern rite but loyal to the Pope, and if you argue culture, that's perhaps closer to Moscow than Rome.
  • It's also telling that there is no Protestant-Catholic distinction. Huntington and his readers are all too aware that those can live along now, even though there are some real cultural differences, and that "Latin American" culture may be closer to Spain than the USA.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Mar 3rd, 2014 at 12:13:19 PM EST
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Well said, Huntingdon's notion of culture has always been sloppy and not rooted in the research on culture. He rather just put his prejudices down on paper.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Mar 3rd, 2014 at 03:02:19 PM EST
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If I recall correctly, he extensively discuss his choice of not defining the Islamic civilization as one civilization, and not as two.

He also discusses the Ukraine unitarian point, and the catholic-protestant issue in a Latin American context.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Tue Mar 25th, 2014 at 11:14:28 AM EST
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One "not" too much...

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Tue Mar 25th, 2014 at 11:24:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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