Progress And International Conflicts In The Clash Of Civilizations

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A. PREAMBLE

Civilization is a broad concept encompassing over-arching aspects of ethnicity, language, culture, nationality and ideology. The concept of a homogenous civilization is more an abstract idea than a reality, as the inherent individuality of human beings makes it impossible to generalise or define them as one collective group.
However, the human propensity to live, work and belong to a group with shared social and cultural values and mindset throughout human history, as well as engage in aggression when this cohesion is threatened, has attracted the interest of scholars in the study of the rise and decline of human civilizations and their underlying causes. The objective of such study and analyses would obviously be to identify the factors which either promote or threaten progress and self-preservation of these civilizations in the hope of ensuring the successful survival of future civilizations.
According to Samuel Huntington, a popular though controversial Harvard-based professor, international conflicts in the Post-Cold War era will be initiated by conflicts in culture and cultural identities between civilizations. In particular, he cites the differences between Muslims and the West as the source of a prolonged and irreconcilable conflict which he terms ‘The Clash of Civilizations’. The first part of this essay will evaluate assertions made in ‘The Clash of Civilizations’ thesis as well as discuss if the said ‘clash’ is a reality or a flawed conjecture.

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