International Relations

Clash of Civilization

Reading Summary

            The article focuses on the changing nature of global politics as identified and discussed by Huntington. For navigational purposes, the publication has been divided into nine sub-categories all dealing with the author’s assertion that cultural diversity. In the initial part of the article, the next pattern of conflict, the author argues that global war has evolved from the earlier causes of ideological differences and into cultural issues. In the next section, the writer identifies his premises for the discussion as outlined in the nature of civilizations. Of great importance in this section is the definition of culture and the division between earlier warfare that emanated from economic and political aspects (Huntington 1995, p. 22-25). The third category, why civilizations will clash, provides an analysis of the various reasons as to why culture would act as the plausible basis for future warfare. These include globalization, diversity, global acculturation, Westernization, economic liberalization and the immutability of societies. Religious orientations currently serve as the fault lines between civilizations as evidenced by the war between Christians and Muslims in the advent of the new world order. Racism is ranked as the second fault line in which conflicts arise from. Re-grouping and inter-state support in time of conflicts is based on the cultural identities that transverse across different nations. For instance, if an Islamic state is invaded by non-Islamic nations, it is likely to get support from other Islamic states.

This has been identified in the civilization rallying: the kin-country syndrome, as noted through the wars experienced in the Gulf region, Yugoslavia and Soviet Union. The author is keen to point out the dissension that is being set against the Western nations in the section, the west versus the rest, due to the neo-colonialist practices that the former bloc has imposed on the rest of the nations enforced through political and economic domination. This has been effected through organization such as the International Monetary Fund, United Nations Security Council, World Bank and others that have allowed the West to impress their rule on the other nations (Huntington 1995, p.25-41). Neutral countries termed as the torn countries within this division have a huge challenge in terms of identity as they are faced with the need to identify the bloc that befits their ideals. Examples of these countries include Turkey, Russia and Mexico. The Confucian-Islamic connection has emerged as a coalition of the Eastern countries against the West and this has had adverse implications for the West with most nations investing in nuclear weapons and other Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) based on the argument that they are for security purposes (Huntington 1995, p.42-49).

Personal Opinion

            The article offers a precise analysis of the international nature of war that was projected in the futuristic period being the twenty-first century. The precision used within the publication offers timeless truths, which we can relate in our current setting with the number of WMD proliferation that is very rampant within the eastern states as marked by Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, and China among others. The division between the West and the East nations has accelerated with the al Qaeda faction having bombed the US in the September 11 blast with the promise of further retaliation with the use of nuclear weapons. This issue had been analyzed within the given article in the period 1995 and it has actually come to pass. The inferences acquired from this article and the fact that the analysis has been proven true leaves the conclusion that truly the international war has shifted to cultural differences among nations.


  1. What is the West currently doing to mitigate the cultural dissension that exists between it and the East?
  2. What security measures have been adopted to deal with the possible WMD war looming from the eastern side against the West?
  3. What is the most probable WMD that may be used against the West?






















Huntington, S.P. 1995, ‘Clash of Civilizations?’, Foreign Affairs, vol. 72, no. 3, pp. 22-49.


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