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The Clash of Civilizations & Ethnic Conflict. Components of API413. Structure. Huntington’s ‘clash of civilizations’ thesis 11 key points in theory Potential criticisms of the theory How tested with systematic evidence? Huntington’s data: language and religion Other evidence:

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Presentation Transcript
  • Huntington’s ‘clash of civilizations’ thesis
      • 11 key points in theory
      • Potential criticisms of the theory
      • How tested with systematic evidence?
        • Huntington’s data: language and religion
  • Other evidence:
      • Indicators of ethnic fractionalization: Alesina et al.
      • Cultural Values: Norris & Inglehart /Fattah
      • Peace and Conflict 2008: Monty Marshall and Ted Gurr
      • Minorities at Risk: Ted Gurr
      • Uppsala Conflict Data: Tusicisny
  • Conclusions: case study discussion: Rebuilding Iraq
huntington s thesis
Huntington’s Thesis
  • “In this new (post Cold war) world the most pervasive, important and dangerous conflicts will not be between social classes, rich and poor, or other economically defined groups, but between peoples belonging to different cultural entities. Tribal wars and ethnic conflicts will occur within civilizations. And the most dangerous cultural conflicts are those along the fault lines between civilizations.”
  • Huntington (1996) Clashof Civilizations p. 28.
i huntington s thesis
I. Huntington’s thesis
  • Aims to develop simplified map or paradigm, not the ‘end of history’, nor bifurcation, nor 184 nation-states, nor chaos
  • “Cultural identities, based on civilizations, are shaping patterns of cohesion, disintegration and conflict in the post Cold War World.”
  • “In the post-Cold War world, the most important distinctions among peoples are not ideological, political, or economic. They are cultural.” Huntington 1996 p.21
  • Global politics is multi-polar and multi-civilizational: NOT a ‘Westernization’ of non-Western states.
  • The balance of population is shifting with a decline in the West, Asia is expanding, and Islam is expanding demographically.
huntington s thesis1
Huntington’s Thesis
  • Civilizational cultures are defined by: common objective elements (language, history, religion, customs, institutions) & by subjective self-identification (‘us’ and ‘them’).
  • Civilizational cultures are based mainly on religion: (p43-48)

Western Christianity, Islamic, Orthodox, Latin American, Sinic, Japanese, Hindu, Buddhist, African (?)

  • “Conflict between groups in different civilizations will be more frequent, more sustained and more violent than conflicts between groups in the same civilization.” (1993, 48)
  • “Nation states will remain the most powerful actors in world affairs, but the principle conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations. The clash of civilizations will dominate global politics.”
huntington s thesis2
Huntington’s Thesis

10. Modernization of society does not lead to the adoption of Western cultures

  • Modernization:Developments in science & technology, industrialization, urbanization, literacy, education, wealth, social mobility, differentiation in workforce (p68)
  • Western civilization emerged in 8th & 9th Centuries – modernization emerged in 17th and 18th C.
  • Other societies may modernize without Westernizing. “Non-Western societies can modernize and have modernized without abandoning their own cultures and adopting wholesale Western values, institutions and practices.” P.78.
  • “Somewhere in the Middle East a half-dozen young men could well be dressed in jeans, drinking Coke, listening to rap, and, between their bows to Mecca, putting together a bomb to blow up an American airliner.” Huntington p.58 (1996)
concept of western civilization
Concept of Western civilization
  • Classical legacy of philosophy & law, Catholicism & Protestantism, multiple languages, rule of law, social pluralism, representative bodies, individualism. Pp.68-72
  • “Individually none of these factors was unique to the West. The combination of them was, however, and this is what gave the West its distinctive character.” p.72
  • The core contrast between the West and Muslim cultures relate to democratic values (1996, p70)
huntington s critics
Huntington’s Critics
  • Has there been a rise in ‘civilizational’ or ‘ethnic’ conflict during the 1990s? Systematic evidence?
  • Is there a single distinctive Muslim culture?
  • If there is a shared Muslim culture, is it antithetical to democracy and democratic values?
  • Deep divisions exist within Muslim societies - root causes of radical fundamentalism may lie in structural inequalities between rich and poor and in poor governance in autocratic states
  • Huntington’s evidence on religion & language
  • Indicators of ethnic fractionalization:
      • Alesina et al.
  • Trends in Ethnic Conflict 2007:
      • Marshall & Gurr
  • Minorities at Risk:
      • Tedd Gurr ~ University of Maryland
  • Uppsala conflict data project:
      • Andrej Tusicisny
  • Cultural values in survey data:
      • Norris & Inglehart
      • Moataz Fattah Democratic values in the Muslim world
1 huntington s evidence religion
1. Huntington’s evidence: religion
  • Core claim: “The late twentieth century has seen a global resurgence of religions around the world.” p64
    • An intensification of religious consciousness
    • The rise of fundamentalist movements
    • The growth of religious populations
    • Reinforced differences among religions
  • Evidence? World Christian Encyclopedia 1900-2000
    • Rise in % of Christians (by conversion) and Muslims (by conversion and reproduction).
    • Rise in % of Muslims will continue due to fertility rates. Est.20% world pop by 2000
    • Some rise in % ‘atheists’ but due to reclassification of Chinese folk-religionists
world pop by religion
% World pop. by religion

Ref Huntington ‘Clash’ Table 3.3 p.65 from Barrett World Christian Encyclopedia OUP 1982 (2000 estimated) 2nd ed. Pub 2001 ‘mega-census’ by Christian clergy

problems of this evidence
Problems of this evidence
  • Are indicators and data sources reliable?
  • Number of adherents does not measure intensity of religious values, beliefs and identities
  • Trend evidence does not indicate anything directly about ‘civilizational conflict’
  • What is the concept of ethnicity and how can ethnicity be gauged?
      • Stable and unvarying physical attributes?
          • Eg skin color? Racial characteristics?
      • Long-lasting social conventions
          • Eg language used at home
      • Or relative, plastic, and politically-defined
          • Eg legal citizenship/nationality
establishing evidence
Establishing evidence
  • Some conflict genuinely concerns issues of ‘ethnic’ identity – eg Ayodha temple, Temple mount, Orange day parades
  • But many other cases are about social conditions, territorial disputes, or other rights (eg over land) where it is not clear that ethnicity is central, even where disputes are between two different ethnic groups
  • Bruce Gilley 2004. “Against the concept of ethnic conflict” Third World Quarterly 25(6): 1155-1166.
2 alesina measures
2. Alesina measures
  • Alberto Alesina et al. ‘Fractionalization’ June 2002
    • Easterly and Levine use ethno-linguistic fractionalization (ELF) based on Atlas Narodev Mira (1964)
    • Linguistic and religious fractionalization for 190 nations (based on Encyclopedia Britannica 2001)
    • Ethnic fractionalization combining racial and linguistic characteristics for 650 groups
    • Ethnicity treated as exogenous (stable)
    • Fractionalization doesnot equal ethnic conflict
alesina et al s findings
Alesina et al’s findings
  • Most ethnically diverse societies are in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Least diverse in Korea & Japan
  • Linguistic (but not religious) fractionalization has a negative impact on economic growth and the quality of governance (eg illiteracy, infant mortality, political rights)
  • Are the measures reliable?
  • What about other dimensions of ethnic identity?
  • What is the relationship between ethnic heterogeneity and ethnic conflict?
3 peace conflict 2008 ted robert gurr monty marshall and deepa khosla cidcm u maryland
3. “Peace & Conflict 2008”Ted Robert Gurr, Monty Marshall and Deepa KhoslaCIDCM, U.Maryland,
  • Peace and Conflict Ledger by CSP rates 160 countries on capacity for peace-building: 1946-2008.
      • Avoid recent armed conflicts
      • Manage movements for self determination
      • Maintain stable democratic institutions
      • Substantial material resources
      • Free of serious threats from external environment

Center for Systemic Peace/MAR ‘Global Conflict Trends’

categories of conflict
Categories of conflict

Center for Systemic Peace/MAR ‘Global Conflict Trends’

trends in violent conflict
Trends in violent conflict
  • Total magnitude of violent conflict and of ethnic conflict rose 1945-1990 then fell during the 1990s
  • “Number and magnitude of armed conflict within and among states have lessened since the early 1990s by nearly half.”
  • Conflicts over self-determination are being settled with increasing frequency.
  • Yet African exceptionalism:
      • Little international effort
      • Democratic transitions failed
      • Pervasive poverty

Center for Systemic Peace/MAR ‘Global Conflict Trends’


Center for Systemic Peace/MAR ‘Global Conflict Trends’

Center for Systemic Peace/MAR ‘Global Conflict Trends’
Center for Systemic Peace/MAR ‘Global Conflict Trends’
Case-study discussion: Mon 5th Dec

You have been asked by the US Institute of Peace to produce an independent consultancy report recommending priorities in rebuilding Iraq during the next decade.

The mandate of the United States Institute of Peace, as established by Congress, is to support the development, transmission, and use of knowledge to promote peace and curb violent international conflict.

Drawing uponone of the key theories developed during this course, you are asked to evaluate the available evidence and topresent a series of recommendations to this agency.

The reports will be presented within groups in class on Monday 5th December.