The clash of Civilizations is a theory that Huntington proposed in his article “The Clash of Civilizations” (1993) and his book “The clash of civilizations and the remaking of world order” (1996). Based on the assertion that similarity between ideas, individuals, parties or states causes peaceful relations whereas a difference generates conflicts and disorder, Huntington suggests that culture and cultural identities will be the leading causes of war in the post Cold War world. Culture and cultural identities; they are fundamentally civilization identities, are presently the main shapers of the patterns of conflict, disintegration and cohesion in the post-Cold War. This paper discusses the reasons why this theory is a strong predictor of the future conflicts.
It is crucial to note that the main thesis of this theory is that the great divisions that will occur among humankind and the leading source of conflict are to be cultural. In this line, he divides the cultures of the world into seven civilizations: the Western civilization: consists of the West and Central Europe, Australia and the North America; the Latin American civilization, which involves the Central and South America; Buddhist civilization is mainly Asian states; Confucian civilization which is China and its Diaspora, Singapore, Taiwan; Hindu civilization, which is India and Nepal; Japanese civilization; African civilization and Islamic civilization.
From this division, Huntington indicates that the conflicts will most likely occur between the Western civilization that currently dominates the world’s power and its greatest challengers that include Islamic and Confucian civilizations. It is evident that the East Asia, China in particular, is a significant threat to the West due to the rapid economic growth. The US, for instance, worries of what the Rise of China can do to its status of being the world’s superpower, considering that the Chinese military continues to get stronger. Additionally, the Islamic civilization also threatens the West. This is clear since the September 9/11 incident that led to the US military’s invasion to Muslim countries; especially Afghanistan where they recently killed the Al-Qaeda leader. Most of the Islam civilizations possess the Anti-Americanism attitude and general opposition to the West and its culture and ideas. The pattern and history of events that take place between these two civilizations only make one expect the worst in future.
Also, according to Huntington, he sees some states as the swing-states. Such countries are those that will favor either the West, or its challengers. They include India, Russia and Japan. Their acts will destabilize the world further since their affiliations are not clear, though their power is hefty enough to cause the significant changes.
Another prediction is that there will be future conflicts between Muslims and non-Muslims. This will mainly be found along their borders. The conflicts in Sudan, Bosnia, Nigeria, Philippines and Kashmir are a proof of this. Historical clashes of Muslims and Christians date back to the middle ages, and both Islam and Christianity are universal religions, whose mission is to spread their faith; which are the main reasons for the current as well as future conflicts between the Islamic civilizations and the Christian-West civilizations where attack on Iraq is a proof of this.
In conclusion, ethnic conflicts and cultural differences are extremely relevant issues for shaping international politics. Since the ethnic identities and cultural affiliations are responsible for making group relations, the conflicts have caused extreme human suffering and remain a crucial threat to the international security. From the above explanations, it is clear that the clash of civilizations has been the main contributor of wars and can, according to the current global situation among civilizations, only predict a future recurrent of conflicts. Given the complexity associated with cultural and ethnic conflicts, there is no direct solution of solving issues relating to them.