20 May 2022


Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations”

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The world politics is entering into a different stage and different elites have not hesitated to come up with visions of how the end of history would look like. Some have envisioned that there would be a resurgence of the old rivalry between nations, ethnic conflicts as well as globalism just to enumerate a few (Huntington, 1993). All these visions catch a glimpse of a reality that is emerging in the world in the present moments. Nevertheless, they miss a critical and indeed the most clinical aspect that the global politics will hold in the future. According to Huntington’s hypothesis, the major source of conflicts in our modern world would not necessarily be ideological, political or even economic oriented, rather the main source of divisions among nation states will be cultural oriented (Huntington, 1993). 

The different nation’s states will retain their powerful identities in the world affairs; however, the chief conflict that would arise in global politics will take place between nations and the myriad civilization groups. In other words, the clash will be civilization based but not ideological or economic based. The gaps between civilizations will create the point of conflicts in the coming years (Huntington, 1993). The civilization will be defined and categorized by four factors namely, religion, customs, institutions, as well as history. Out of these four factors, religion will act as a key differentiator (Huntington, 1993). Huntington’s hypothesis assumes that this conflict will mark the final phase of conflict evolution in the present world.

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Various political scientists have come out in support of Huntington’s hypothesis. In present moments, terrorism presents a serious concern to leaders from various states (Neumayer & Plumper, 2009). Actually, the terrorist activities that are being evidenced in various nations are twined to the sour relationship between the Islam and the west which is a typical reflection of clash civilization that was advocated by Huntington (Neumayer & Plumper, 2009). The September 11th 2001 terrorist attack is not enough to justify the validity of Huntington’s hypothesis bearing in mind that most critics perceive that civilization conflict comprises of a few ethnic conflicts. Nevertheless, the march 2004, train bombings in Madrid, the July 2005 underground bombing in London and the December 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks were all associated with a terrorist organization called Al-Qaeda. In this respect, it can be justified that the clash was between the Islam and the west as Huntington had described in his book (Neumayer & Plumper, 2009). It will also be logical to believe that the terrorist activities being evidenced in the world in present moments give the best example of the clash of civilization which supports or rather provides evidence of the quest between the diverse cultures, customs as well as ideas. 

It is difficult to state that the clashes that are taking place in modern days are as a result of civilization struggle between the Muslims and Western states. They appear to be inclined towards internal tensions and ferocious strife. The conflict that is evident today between the American States and the Islam communities is more of cultural oriented. They both perceive that their cultures are universal and ought to be adopted at all cost even if it would mean using violence. However, it should be clearly stated that a great difference exists between them. The American civilization brings with it political and religious freedom while the Muslim culture is religiously and politically strict and that makes it be more oppressive. This difference makes the two sides to conflict and America perceives that it has to fight such cultures in the name of “war on terror”. Notably, this makes the situation to play along with Huntington’s thesis. However, it does not justify that all Muslims and westerners are at war with each other. I believe that both of them value co-existing peacefully. 


Huntington, S. P. (1993). The Clash of Civilizations? Foreign Affairs, 72(3) . Pp. 22.

Neumayer, E & Plumper, T. (2009). International Terrorism and the Clash of Civilization. (2nd Ed.). British journal of political science, 39(4) . Pp. 711-734. 

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