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The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order [Paperback]

Samuel P. Huntington
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (311 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 2, 2011 1451628978 978-1451628975 0
The classic study of post-Cold War international relations, more relevant than ever in the post-9/11 world, with a new foreword by Zbigniew Brzezinski.

Since its initial publication, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order has become a classic work of international relations and one of the most influential books ever written about foreign affairs. An insightful and powerful analysis of the forces driving global politics, it is as indispensable to our understanding of American foreign policy today as the day it was published. As former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski says in his new foreword to the book, it “has earned a place on the shelf of only about a dozen or so truly enduring works that provide the quintessential insights necessary for a broad understanding of world affairs in our time.”

Samuel Huntington explains how clashes between civilizations are the greatest threat to world peace but also how an international order based on civilizations is the best safeguard against war. Events since the publication of the book have proved the wisdom of that analysis. The 9/11 attacks and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have demonstrated the threat of civilizations but have also shown how vital international cross-civilization cooperation is to restoring peace. As ideological distinctions among nations have been replaced by cultural differences, world politics has been reconfigured. Across the globe, new conflicts—and new cooperation—have replaced the old order of the Cold War era.

The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order explains how the population explosion in Muslim countries and the economic rise of East Asia are changing global politics. These developments challenge Western dominance, promote opposition to supposedly “universal” Western ideals, and intensify intercivilization conflict over such issues as nuclear proliferation, immigration, human rights, and democracy. The Muslim population surge has led to many small wars throughout Eurasia, and the rise of China could lead to a global war of civilizations. Huntington offers a strategy for the West to preserve its unique culture and emphasizes the need for people everywhere to learn to coexist in a complex, multipolar, muliticivilizational world.

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The thesis of this provocative and potentially important book is the increasing threat of violence arising from renewed conflicts between countries and cultures that base their traditions on religious faith and dogma. This argument moves past the notion of ethnicity to examine the growing influence of a handful of major cultures--Western, Eastern Orthodox, Latin American, Islamic, Japanese, Chinese, Hindu, and African--in current struggles across the globe. Samuel P. Huntington, a political scientist at Harvard University and foreign policy aide to President Clinton, argues that policymakers should be mindful of this development when they interfere in other nations' affairs. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Huntington here extends the provocative thesis he laid out in a recent (and influential) Foreign Affairs essay: we should view the world not as bipolar, or as a collection of states, but as a set of seven or eight cultural "civilizations"?one in the West, several outside it?fated to link and conflict in terms of that civilizational identity. Thus, in sweeping but dry style, he makes several vital points: modernization does not mean Westernization; economic progress has come with a revival of religion; post-Cold War politics emphasize ethnic nationalism over ideology; the lack of leading "core states" hampers the growth of Latin America and the world of Islam. Most controversial will be Huntington's tough-minded view of Islam. Not only does he point out that Muslim countries are involved in far more intergroup violence than others, he argues that the West should worry not about Islamic fundamentalism but about Islam itself, "a different civilization whose people are convinced of the superiority of their culture and are obsessed with the inferiority of their power." While Huntington notes that the war in Bosnia hardened into an ethno-religious clash, he downplays the possibility that such splintering could have been avoided. Also, his fear of multiculturalism as a source of American weakness seems unconvincing and alarmist. Huntington directs the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (August 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451628978
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451628975
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (311 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,239 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Samuel P. Huntington (1927-2008) was the Albert J. Weatherhead III University Professor at Harvard and former chairman of the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies. He authored and edited more than dozen books.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
323 of 342 people found the following review helpful
By Amazon's count, mine is the 228th review of this book. That itself tells you something about the huge impact of Samuel Huntington's work and of its value in provoking thought and debate worldwide. The only reason I add my voice to earlier reviews is that: 1) any sane consumer at Amazon.com is only going to examine the last 20 reviews, not the last 200, so I might as well be among the latest who are actually read; and 2) I believe deeply in the value of this book, so I'd like to encourage you to consider it.

The fact that the book's 228 ratings average only 3.5 Amazon stars reflects not on the brilliance of the book--which is beyond question--but on the ideological unpopularity in some quarters of its basic theses.

And those theses are that: 1) with the end of the Cold War, political ideologies have given way to differing cultural and religious values (i.e.
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100 of 109 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A REVOLUTIONARY TREATISE, NOT HEEDED February 8, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Reading this 1996 publication after 9/11/2001, the onset of the War on Terror and the US experiment in "regime change" and "nation building," one cannot but be amazed at the accuracy of its prognostication and the degree to which its advice was not heeded. The basic thesis of the book is that it is impossible to impose Western political, religious and cultural values on non-Western countries. A most astonishing proof of this thesis is the first Gulf War of 1990, waged by the United States against Iraq. To Western eyes it was an entirely just war, backed up by a coalition of Arab states, which succeeded in stopping Saddam Hussein from invading a weaker sovereign state, Kuwait. But, as Huntington shows, it was roundly condemned by public opinion in the Middle East as an imperialist intervention in domestic affairs, a threatening show of military force and a war of the West against all Arabs and all Muslims. The good war, even altruistic war, backfired. Undertaken to protect the life and property of an Arab state, it provoked fear and hatred in the Arab world and empowered the defeated aggressor, whose prestige gained in neighboring states.

On the basis of such examples, Huntington draws the painful conclusion that we (as Westerners) cannot universalize rights and principles that we hold dear and apply them to other peoples, governments and states that do not observe them. To do so, he warns, is false, immoral and dangerous. He asserts toward the close of his book: "Western intervention in the affairs of other civilizations is probably the single most dangerous source of instability and potential global conflict in a multicivilizational world." He advances an "abstention rule": that core states of one civilization abstain from intervening in the conflicts of other civilizations.
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143 of 166 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too big a chunk of reality? April 7, 2001
Format:Paperback
I remember noticing the essay on which this book was based, in an international newspaper several years ago. Though I knew nothing of the author at the time, I don't think it took me more than a paragraph or two to realize, first, "This is a major argument," second, "It has some validity," and third, "This is going to make a lot of people mad." The book is, of course, far more nuanced and detailed than the article. I do not agree with every point Professor Huntington makes, but it certainly carries through on the promise of those first few paragraphs. This book is one strong and rather iconoclastic model by which to understand international relations in the coming years. Even if you disagree with it, or find it offensive, this is definitely a book worth reading, or if you're a teaching, assigning your students to read and attack or defend.
I do not think some attacks below (not all really arguments) on Huntington's approach to Islam were quite fair. I didn't see anything "pathological" or "paranoid" about his arguments, and he explicitly stated, time and time again, that Islam was not at all "monolithic." Actually, I think he is sometimes overly cautious and understated on the subject, in effect making all kinds of excuses for the militant character of Islam, and holding out the hope that it will mellow. Anyone who knows how Islam is perceived by non-Muslims in sub-Saharan Africa, India, or China, or is aware of the military career of Mohammed, can only be amazed how prevalent p.c. attempts to deny the obvious seem to be. (A phenomena we have seen with other absolutist idealogies.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
An awesome read and it was in better condition than I expected! Price was even better!
Published 9 hours ago by msericka_22
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read
An epic undertaking, SP Huntington's work has stood the test of time and also remains particularly prescient today. Read more
Published 5 days ago by S. Sparks
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Read. His insight is astonishing
Great Read . His insight is astonishing . In fact his predictions
have mostly come true. For example his predictions on Ukraine are
on the TV news these days and 100 %... Read more
Published 15 days ago by Robert J Hayne
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Read
As with many book of this sort it is a bit dated, and I think Huntington would have different views if he wrote the book after 9/11/01. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Z. Yarnell
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!
Huntington provides a great review of global politics in Clash of Civilizations and it is a must read for anyone interested in political science!
Published 1 month ago by Cat
5.0 out of 5 stars The Worthy Debate
The Clash of Civilizations became a key book in the discussion of future American Foreign Policy for all the right reasons. Read more
Published 2 months ago by fjness
3.0 out of 5 stars Mugged by Machiavelli?
Samuel P Huntington's dark classic “The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order”, first published in 1996, comes with positive blurbs from Henry Kissinger and... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Ashtar Command
5.0 out of 5 stars It is particularly quite appropriate for the times we live in.
Clash of civilizations has been on my reading list for a very long time. Fortunately, I managed to find a copy of its Urdu translation in my own house. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Psyops
3.0 out of 5 stars Did the Job
I ordered this book for a graduate level class as it was required reading. I was able to use the book to get the just of what the professor wanted, but the topic is relatively dry... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Daryl A. Daniels
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant International Relations Masterpiece
The Cold War ended about a quarter of a century ago. Its end ushered in a great hope for the future of humanity, a future that many had hoped would be free from wars and other... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Dr. Bojan Tunguz
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