The article known as The new era in world’s policies (pp. 19-36) in the book entitled The Clash of Civilization and the Remaking of World Order by Huntington (1996) portrays a central theme of the events that occurred after the Cold War. Such events included conflicts, disintegrations and patterns of cohesion.
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These were shaped and influenced by civilization and cultural identities, and were significant in bringing assimilation and order. The corollaries proposed by Huntington are based on five facets. Some of these facets are multi-civilization and multi-polar global politics. The argument is that westernization and modernization are two distinct components which cannot make non-Western societies to be westernized.
Another aspect is that there is a shift of powers among civilized nations. The Asian nations unlike those in the West are seen to expand their civilization and this is being witnessed in their political, military and economic strengths.
While the West is terribly declining, the current demographic explosion among Muslims and subsequent destabilizing consequences strongly confirm the growth of non-Western civilization. Actually, these nations reflect how much they value their cultures.
The pace at which the new world order civilization is emerging is quite evident. Many societies with similar cultural affinities have developed the practice of sharing and cooperating. While this has been lauded by many as a move towards assimilation, growth of strong societies, cohesion and cultural support, there is no doubt that it has negatively impacted civilization.
In comparison to Therborn’s (2004) work, this is indicative of the family system in Europe that has been affected by civilization and numerous internal and external changes.
Huntington (1996) laments that due to cultural cooperation, introducing civilization or shifting it from one community to another becomes cumbersome. What is seen and experienced as a result of cultural affinities is a separation as countries are grouped around core states, as well as those leading their civilization.
In addition, the pretense of Western Universalists that they are the best is a major cause of conflicts among them and other civilizations. This is perhaps the reason why the West has had numerous and seemingly unending conflicts with China and Muslim nations.
The kin country rallying has been known to generate incessant conflicts at the local level between non-Muslims and Muslims. It goes without saying that the core strategies applied by states in order to end wars may be futile unless the West stops its hidden agenda.
Huntington’s arguments on realism, parsimony and liberalism are in contrast with schools of thought expressed by Therborn (2004) who indicates that developed nations pursue power by penetrating less developed states either through advisors on politics, missionary experts or multinationals.
The argument is that they easily foster dependency among weaker nations while strong nations continue clinging to power. Huntington (1996), on the other hand, indicates that liberalism and realism hypocritically created an acceptable form of dependence at different levels for the developed nations.
Realism and parsimony created major circles that Western nations use to control and discriminate against developing nations, as well as the Eastern countries. While this view has been strongly criticized and referred to as inapplicable in the modern world, several cases by Western nations reflect this situation.
For a long time, West has been culturally disregarding and racially discriminating East nations. This has been attributed to the notion of the West on civilization and its association of the East with terror and extremist movements.
The author is very categorical that the perception of the West against the east is defined by mistrust, fear, and molded by long years of crash between civilizations. Their pretense can therefore not be justified at all.
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To agree with Huntington (1996), mistrust by the West and pretense cannot be justified because world and its societies need to exist harmoniously, but this factor does not allow the large number of Muslims and other groups from East to live and work in the West peacefully.
Another factor is the survival of the West which is in a state of balance due to issues of civilization. Currently, the West depends on Americans to affirm and reaffirm their strong identity. As pointed out by Huntington, global politics is not only being reconfigured and tailored along cultural lines, but is also being spurred by modernization.
Nations with similar cultures have a way of joining forces while those without drift apart. The call for nations in the West to affirm their identity is a political move aimed at aligning superpower relations and ideologies with culture and civilization.
Analytical point for the material by Huntington (1996)
Over the years, the debate from different theories on the end of post Cold War conflicts, disintegration, as well as civilization and culture can be well analyzed under the social constructivism theory.
Constructivism is based on the tenets that international politics are not shaped by extreme ideologies outlined in other theories such as liberalism or Marxism, but through collective values, ideologies persuasion as well as social identities. The book does not negate the ideologies of Marxism, but combine them with other preexisting theories in deriving the understanding of the assimilation of civilization and culture.
Huntington, S.P. (1996). The clash of civilization and the remaking of world order. New Fetter Lane, London: Routlegde.
Therborn, G. (2004). Between sex and power: family in the world, 1900-2000. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, Inc.