Dictionary of Arguments

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Author Item Summary Meta data
Brocker I 835
Culture/Huntington: Thesis: Western culture is in decline, while the economically strengthened Chinese and the rapidly growing demographically Islamic culture are becoming new challengers.
Brocker I 836
Thesis: "Culture and the identity of cultures, i.e. the identity of cultural areas at the highest level", are decisive for current and future global patterns of order. (1)
Brocker I 836
Huntington: Cultural areas are not closed, demarcable entities; however, we are still able to comprehend the rise and decline of certain cultural orders. Huntington differentiates seven or eight cultural areas: He distinguishes between Sinian, Japanese, Hindu, Islamic, Western, Slavic-orthodox
Brocker I 837
and Latin American, while the existence of a genuinely African culture is not conclusively established. (2)
Relations between these cultural areas have so far taken place in two phases:
1) As "encounters": in the second until about 1500 AD, but limited by spatial and temporal distance.
2) The offensive extension of European rule to other continents led to significant intercultural relations under Western dominance, founded on the technological strength of the West.
3) We are currently witnessing real interactions between cultural centres. At this point Huntington uses Hedly Bull's system definition (1977 (3)), according to which states see themselves as part of the international system. See State/Huntington.
Brocker I 838
Universal Culture/cultural universalism: the development of a "universal culture" appears to Huntington as naive wishful thinking. In fact, there is neither a universal language that goes beyond mere understanding nor a universal religion that is capable of breaking down cultural boundaries. This idea is a "typical product of Western culture". (4) The idea of such a culture is based on fallacy which the West believes in after the victory over Soviet Communism. Liberal democracy is by no means the only alternative to socialist ideas of order; nor can global trade and communication turn Western universalism into reality. Western culture is not the only modern culture. (5) A shift in the balance of power in favour of other cultural areas is "gradual, unstoppable and fundamental". (6)
Brocker I 840
Culture/EspositoVsHuntington: the heart of Huntington's argument for a new world order is based on a monolithic understanding of culture. (7)
Brocker I 847
Robert JervisVsHuntington: he regards cultural areas as given, unchanging units
Brocker I 848
and thereby breaks with the constructivist perspective of the finiteness of identity. (8)
Edward SaidVsHuntington: Said Thesis: Cultures are not ahistorical and uniform, but full of internal oppositions, adaptations, counter-concepts and variations that play no role in Huntington's crude abstractions. (9)
Amartya SenVsHuntington: People are not just members of a single culture. Possible alternative attributes must not be hidden. (10)
Dieter SenghaasVsHuntington: It remains unclear why certain cultures are belligerent - which is certainly due to the lack of theoretical support for the culture-behavior nexus. (11)
Bruce LawrenceVsHuntington: Internal cultural heterogeneities are deliberately overlooked, giving the impression that large cultural circles can be given a united voice. The accusation of cultural racism is obvious here. (12)




1. Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, New York 1996. Dt.: Samuel P. Huntington, Kampf der Kulturen. Die Neugestaltung der Weltpolitik im 21. Jahrhundert, München/Wien 1998 (zuerst 1996).S. 19
2. Ebenda S. 57-62
3. Hedley Bull, The Anarchical Society. A Study of Order in World Politics, New York 1977.
4. Huntington ebenda, S. 92
5. Ebenda S. 98
6. Ebenda S. 119.
7. John L. Esposito The Islamic Threat. Myth or Reality?, New York/Oxford 1999, S. 229
8. Robert Jervis »Review: The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order by Samuel P. Huntington«, in: Political Science Quarterly 112/2, 1997, 307-308.
9. Edward Said, »The Clash of Definitions. On Samuel Huntington«, in: ders., Reflections on Exile and Other Literary and Cultural Essays, London. 2001, p. 569-590, S. 578f.
10. Amartya Sen Die Identitätsfalle. Warum es keinen Krieg der Kulturen gibt, München 2007, S. 54f.
11. Dieter Senghaas, Zivilisierung wider Willen. Der Konflikt der Kulturen mit sich selbst, Frankfurt/M. 1998, S. 140
12. Bruce Lawrence, 2002, »Conjuring with Islam, II«, in: The Journal of American History 89/2, 2002, 485-497, S. 489


Philipp Klüfers/Carlo Masala, „Samuel P. Huntington, Kampf der Kulturen“, in: Manfred Brocker (Hg.) Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert. Frankfurt/M. 2018


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

PolHunt I
Samuel P. Huntington
The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order New York 1996

Brocker I
Manfred Brocker
Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert Frankfurt/M. 2018


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