The clash of civilizations, then and now

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Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations (CoC) theory is among the most well known and most controversial theories relation to religion in international relations. The debate over this theory began with Huntington’s 1993 “The Clash of Civilizations?" article in Foreign Affairs. It The debate over the theory ensued immediately, beginning in the pages of Foreign Affairs and quickly spread throughout the fields of international relations, comparative politics, and religion and politics, among many others.. Huntington expanded his arguments into a 1996 book entitled The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order which only lent fuel to the debate which continues until today. This chapter provides a general description of Huntington’s arguments and those of his critics. As this debate includes thousands, if not tens of thousands, of contributions in the peer-review literature alone, it is not possible to discuss all of Huntington’s critics. Nor is it feasible to do more than summarize the core elements of Huntington’s arguments in this forum. Nevertheless, Huntington’s basic arguments are simple. Similarly, despite the number of critics, there are a limited number of general critiques of the CoC theory. Thus, it is possible to describe the broad strokes of the CoC debate in this context.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook on Religion and International Relations
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781839100246
ISBN (Print)9781839100239
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021

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