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Samuel P. Huntington (1927–2008)

Teoksen Kulttuurien kamppailu ja uusi maailmanjärjestys tekijä

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About the Author

Samuel P. Huntington was the Albert J. Weatherhead III University Professor at Harvard University and chairman of the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies. He was previously director of security planning for the National Security Council in the Carter administration, the founder and näytä lisää coeditor of Foreign Policy, and president of the American Political Science Association. Mr. Huntington died in 2008. näytä vähemmän
Image credit: Peter Lauth / World Economic Forum

Tekijän teokset

Understanding Political Development (1987) — Toimittaja — 12 kappaletta
The Strategic Imperative (1982) 6 kappaletta

Associated Works

The Ethnicity Reader: Nationalism, Multiculturalism and Migration (1997) — Avustaja, eräät painokset23 kappaletta
Der Sound des Sachzwangs - Der Globalisierungs-Reader (2006) — Avustaja — 16 kappaletta
Interracial America: Opposing Viewpoints (2006) (2006) — Avustaja, eräät painokset10 kappaletta

Merkitty avainsanalla




El libro inscripto dentro de las teorías de la modernización política (en versión crítica) analiza el fenómeno de la participación política y su impacto en el régimen poítico. Desarrollo los ciclos "populista" y "tecnoburocráticos" por los cuales atraviesan algunos países de América Latina, entre ellos la Argentina.
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PabloBul | Sep 10, 2023 |
Between 1974 and 1990 more than thirty countries in southern Europe, Latin America, East Asia, and Eastern Europe shifted from authoritarian to democratic systems of government. This global democratic revolution is probably the most important political trend in the late twentieth century. In The Third Wave, Samuel P. Huntington analyzes the causes and nature of these democratic transitions, evaluates the prospects for stability of the new democracies, and explores the possibility of more countries becoming democratic. The recent transitions, he argues, are the third major wave of democratization in the modem world. Each of the two previous waves was followed by a reverse wave in which some countries shifted back to authoritarian government. Using concrete examples, empirical evidence, and insightful analysis, Huntington provides neither a theory nor a history of the third wave, but an explanation of why and how it occurred.

Factors responsible for the democratic trend include the legitimacy dilemmas of authoritarian regimes; economic and social development; the changed role of the Catholic Church; the impact of the United States, the European Community, and the Soviet Union; and the "snowballing" phenomenon: change in one country stimulating change in others. Five key elite groups within and outside the nondemocratic regime played roles in shaping the various ways democratization occurred. Compromise was key to all democratizations, and elections and nonviolent tactics also were central. New democracies must deal with the "torturer problem" and the "praetorian problem" and attempt to develop democratic values and processes. Disillusionment with democracy, Huntington argues, is necessary to consolidating democracy. He concludes the book with an analysis of the political, economic, and cultural factors that will decide whether or not the third wave continues.

Several "Guidelines for Democratizers" offer specific, practical suggestions for initiating and carrying out reform. Huntington's emphasis on practical application makes this book a valuable tool for anyone engaged in the democratization process. At this volatile time in history, Huntington's assessment of the processes of democratization is indispensable to understanding the future of democracy in the world.
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lpdd | 1 muu arvostelu | Apr 15, 2023 |
When Civilizations Clash

This book is as ambitious as its full title--The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order--is long. Published in 1997, its author, Samuel Huntington, lays out what he sees as the new alignment of the world in the wake of the end of the Cold War and the sudden disappearance of the communist block as the arch-foe of the NATO countries and their allies and client states.

The year was probably just enough time after the 50 years of tension to see the inklings of the new alignments coming. That the basic shape of the world today, its political blocks, its new tensions, largely conforms to Huntington's vision, owes a lot to this fact. At the same time, Huntington deserves props for the accuracy of his main prediction as well as a few subordinate ones.

I read this book as part of a dive into the (non-fictional) conservative literature corpus and I would put it near the top of what I've read so far in terms of understanding where many (most?) on the US right are coming from.

Culture matters

The foundation of the new international political order rests on the notion that absent any larger concerns groups, up to and including nations, will tend to gather culturally. To be clear, this is an utterly uncontroversial thing to say. No social scientist would disagree with it. There are of course always exceptions, both individuals and countries--it's called a tendency for a reason.

So, while on the one hand, this is obvious to the point of banality, on the other, we often don't accept it. It's probably also fair to say that in the specific context of the immediate post-Cold War world, more than a few people had a lot trouble accepting it and its implications.

Now, just because we acknowledge this outgrowth of our innate tribalism doesn't mean we shouldn't work to bridge these cultural divides. Human cultural differences and tendency to prefer the familiar isn't going anywhere soon, so we should always be aware that this work is difficult and frustrating and no matter how many bridges get built, more will always be needed.

This goes to the heart of a core conservative belief: that there are limitations on what we can achieve socially and we ought to be careful about how and how fast we try to create social change. In the more extreme forms of this we ought not to try at all; further down the scale, you find nationalist notions and, well, you don't need me to finish this extrapolation for you, do you? But regardless of where one sits on this social policy conservatism scale, you get certain corollaries, like suspicion (or stronger dislikes) of authority and big government.

The New Current World Order

Much of the middle part of the book is taken up by laying out the culture-based civilizations to come (as seen from 1997) and looking at the world today, Huntington was downright prescient: Western (Western Europe, the US, Canada, Australia, etc.), Asian (China and most of the far east, but NOT Japan), Islamic (countries that are majority Muslim of course), Latin (the Americas south of the US), and African (sub-Saharan Africa, basically).

One notable division of these civilizations is the presence of a core country, for example the US within Western, China within Asian. Conversely, there's no obvious core country in the Islamic civilization, at least not in the same way that China dominates and can put pressure on other Asian countries. Likewise, Latin America is in a strange situation: the obvious contender is Brazil, but its status is hampered by its linguistic isolation.

Swing States

Wondering about Japan? Well, it and a couple other countries--India and Russia--are single-country civilizations. And they have particular roles to play too. If you follow US elections, think swing states, basically.

After this, Huntington discusses the fault lines and conflicts that he sees arising. Again, there's nothing here that will surprise any observer from 2017, though some missed opportunities might be noted. He stresses the importance of the single-country civilizations for tipping balances of power, and astute 21st century readers will surely have noticed failure of the West and Russia to bridge their differences as a counter to Islam and/or China. (Blame goes on both sides in this, if you ask me, but such a discussion is outside the scope of this review.)

Riding Two Horses

Another thing he addresses are so-called conflicted countries (possibly not the word he used, I'm writing this two books after having read Clash and I'm too lazy to check). These are countries straddling two civilizations.

The best example is Turkey, teetering between the West and Islam. But another is Mexico, semi-Western and part of the NAFTA agreement, but still very Latin too. Huntington does not have much good to say about countries in this position in a world where things are aligned primarily along culture. And looking at the how things are going in Turkey today, it's hard to say he's wrong. In his estimation, the differences between Islamic and Western civilizations are too much to allow Turkey to make the jump (to say nothing of how the EU has been, shall we say, less than enthusiastic about it joining). Mexico, he conjectures, might manage it: Latin America was settled by Europeans too after all, so Mexico (and Latin America in general) should be an easier fit with the West.

Doom and Gloom

The end of the book is largely occupied with more conservative notions about culture and civilization. In particular, dire predictions about the fate of Western civilization and culture should it fail to remain cohesive and fail to keep at least one or two of Russian, India, and Japan as friends against Asia and to a lesser extent, Islam.

He also worries that if too many Latins settle in the US, it could become a conflicted country too.

Finally, there's a full-on doomsday scenario involving North Korea, which, while the details are way off, certainly seems relevant in general today.

Bottom Line

So, overall, I think it's a book worth reading regardless of your politics. Certainly, the basic ideas seem to accurately reflect the world today and as such constitute a useful model for understanding it. Like all models, it has its limitations though. And of course, there's no predicting monkey wrenches: Donald Trump, for example, probably has Huntington rolling over in his grave (and indeed, anyone who accepts Huntington's argument that the West needs to hang together and cultivate swing civilizations like Japan if it wants to preserve its Westernness ought to be alarmed by Trump). Putin too might be considered one, though the West certainly did it's share to agitate Russia over the last 20 years.

At least as important as its value as a way to view the world is the insight I see it giving on conservatism in the United States today. Many of the ideas in it are plain in what conservatives are concerned about and the policies they support. You may think the whole premise is BS but still gain an understanding of conservatives.

Finally, I should add that its well-written and its clear Huntington (a political scientist by education and trade) is well-informed.
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qaphsiel | 34 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Feb 20, 2023 |
Não concordando com o autor em tudo, concordo com ele no essencial. Pena é que seja um livro datado, tão feito em torno das políticas dos anos 90. Seria melhor que o autor justificasse as suas teses com exemplos históricos de várias épocas. Seja como for, o livro tem o grande mérito de me ter feito pensar.
Agora os pontos da discórdia. Ocidente, América Latina e Rússia são três civilizações distintas segundo o autor. Porquê? No Ocidente há uma infinidade de línguas, há católicos e protestantes, há latinos, germanos, celtas e americanos, mas para o autor, todos fazem parte da mesma civilização. Na América latina falam duas únicas línguas e de origem europeia e predomina o catolicismo. Portugal e Espanha e até a França ou a Itália, têm mais afinidades com os países da América Latina do que, por exemplo, com os países escandinavos. Porque não inclui-los no Ocidente? Porque o autor, que não despe a farda americana, quer um Ocidente anglófono, o que não sucederia com a inclusão da América Latina no Ocidente. Neste aspecto, a diversidade de línguas na Europa ajuda á predominância americana.
E que dizer da Rússia? Apesar de algumas diferenças evidentes, não terá uma matriz cultural comum com a Europa? Trata-se de um país que adoptou em tempos históricos o cristianismo e o classicismo. Moscovo foi intitulado de “terceira Roma” (depois da própria Roma e de Bizâncio). Isto revela uma identificação clara com o Ocidente.
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CMBras | 34 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Mar 19, 2021 |



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