B) What Are the Five Civilizational Traits That Huntington Presents in This Article? What Is One Trait/Aspect That He May Have Overlooked? Why Was This Potential “Trait” Not Included Among Huntington’s Original Five?

3927 Words Jun 16th, 2013 16 Pages
Also known as Dr. Madan Lal Goel
University of West Florida lgoel@uwf.edu Abstract. The notion of a clash of civilizations has gained notoriety since the terrorist attack on WTC on 9/11/2001. Professor Samuel P. Huntington has popularized the view that the coming global conflict will be among major civilizations, not among different political ideologies. He identifies eight major civilizations: the Western (Europe and North America), Slavic (Russia and Eastern Europe), Islamic, Confucian, Hindu, Japanese, Latin American, and the African. Of particular focus in the present paper is the threat to civilization from radical Islam. Three factors that foment radicalism are
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Writes Huntington,

It is my hypothesis that the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. Nation states will remain the most powerful actors in world affairs, but the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations. The clash of civilizations will dominate global politics. The fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future. (Huntington, 1993, P.22)

What is Civilization?

Civilization and culture are related concepts. A way of life is called a culture. A culture that includes millions of people and has developed complex systems of art, literature, music, social, political and religious institutions may be called a civilization. There are hundreds of cultural groups but only a handful of civilizations. Huntington has identified seven or eight contemporary civilizations in the world. These include the Western (Europe and North America), the Slavic (Russia and Eastern Europe), the Islamic, the Chinese, the Hindu, the Japanese, the Latin American, and the African.

Historians tell us that civilizations rise and fall with some frequency. Many ancient civilizations, once glorious and powerful, exist no more. Where are Rome, Greece, Egypt, Persia and Babylonia? They are on the ash heap of history. Arnold Toynbee

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