Jan Hidders's Reviews > The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order

The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order by Samuel P. Huntington
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's review
Sep 15, 2011

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There is no doubt that this is a must-read if you are interested in global politics. That does not mean that I think the book is right. Quite the contrary, I think the book is dangerously oversimplifying the current situation in world politics and trying to shoe-horn world events into a seductively simple-looking world view that, although advertised as a new paradigm, looks suspiciously like the cold-war paradigm on steroids. Since the human mind often prefers such simple explanations over more complicated ones, and because they also tend to be rather convenient for power-hungry leaders and institutions, these ideas should be very critically examined.

As a whole the book seems well argued and an honest attempt at analysis. However, as soon as you start talking to people that are from and/or know more about particular regions and worlds such as the Islamic world, South America or Eastern Europe, I consistently find that they confirm that Huntington severely oversimplifies or even misrepresents the situation in that particular part of the world. I don't think that is a coincidence. So I would advice everybody who plans to pick up this book, to also make sure that you read afterwards some work that critically examines this book. For an idea of what the critique consists of, you might take a quick look on YouTube for a lecture by the late Edward Said under the title "The Myth of the Clash of Civilizations".
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09/01/2016 marked as: read

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