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Developing Nations IV, 10/24/07 Midterm, November 14 (5:30 & 7:30) Provisional list w questions later this week Weekly contributions (3.3% x 3) AL-KIBSSI AM YASMEEN – email? Two topics left (midterm): Modernization & Dependency Globalization Additional topics? Gender & politics

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Developing Nations IV, 10/24/07

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Developing Nations IV, 10/24/07

Midterm, November 14 (5:30 & 7:30)

Provisional list w questions later this week

Weekly contributions (3.3% x 3)

AL-KIBSSI AM YASMEEN – email?

Two topics left (midterm):

Modernization & Dependency

Globalization

Additional topics?

Gender & politics

Urban vs. rural


“Clash of Civilizations”

- A new phase in world politics

  • The fundamental source of conflict: neither ideology, nor economics

  • Instead, the new source of conflict will be cultural

  • Main conflicts of the future: the fault lines between civilizations


Four stages in the history of conflicts:

Monarchs

Nations

Ideologies

Civilizations


Civilization: a cultural entity

  • “A civilization is 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.” (Huntington 1993, p. 24)


Why civilizations will clash:

  • Differences between civilizations are real and basic

    I.e., they shape the worldview of their members

    (ii) The world becomes smaller

    More interaction → more conflict

    (iii) Modernization & social change →

    alienation →

    rise of fundamentalism

    (the “unsecularization of the world”)


(iv) The dual role of the West:

  • The West is at the peak of its power

  • This fuels anti-Western reactions

    (v) Cultural characteristics: less mutable than political and economic ones (“what are you?” vs. “which side are you on?”)

    (vi) Increased economic regionalism:

    → reinforces civilization-consciousness

    → may succeed only when rooted in a common civilization


Therefore…

People define their identity in ethnic & religious terms

See an “us” vs. “them” relation between them and other cultures

Clash of civilizations


Exam questions:

(i) List and discuss the six reasons why, according to Huntington, civilizations will clash

(ii) List and briefly discuss each of Huntington’s four stages in the history of conflicts


Potential critiques?

  • “Civilization” – a bit fuzzy, perhaps?

  • “Falsifiability”? (How can we prove Huntington wrong?)

  • Too ready to label any conflict a “cultural conflict”?

  • Selective evidence/interpretation?


Anwar Ibrahim, “Muslim Democracy”

  • Muslim democracy (?)

    I.e., democracy in a predominantly Muslim country,

    Rather than democracy with Muslim features

  • No inherent incompatibility btw Islam and Democracy

  • Many features of Islam are conducive to democracy

  • Why do authoritarians have the upper hand?


Huntington vs. Inglehart & Norris

  • Point of agreement: democracy has a hard time taking root in Islamic countries

  • Point of disagreement: why is that the case?


Islam & Democracy

  • Huntington: lack of the core political values that gave birth to representative democracy in Western civilization

  • Inglehart & Norris: gender (in)equality (and attitudes associated with it)


Evidence? Survey data (WVS)

  • Political values: people from Islamic countries are no less supportive of democracy than the people from other cultures

  • Social values: far less committed to gender equality

    → economic consequences

    → political consequences


Consequences:

→ economic – disenfranchisement of half of the (potential) workforce

→ political:

- direct: political disenfranchisement

- indirect: economic underdevelopment

political underdevelopment


Does it matter for democracy?


(More) bad news:

A widening generation gap:

  • younger generations in both Western and “other” non-Western societies are increasingly supportive of gender equality

  • younger generations in Islamic societies are not


Conclusion?

The culture of Islamic societies does appear problematic for democracy

However, the problem is the attitudes toward gender equality, rather than toward democracy per se


Any room for optimism?

Modernization theory:

Economic change

Social change

Cultural change

Political change


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