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American Foreign PolicyStudies in Intellectual History$
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Jean-Francois Drolet and James Dunkerley

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781526116505

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526116505.001.0001

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Chaotic epic: Samuel Huntington’s The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order revisited

Chaotic epic: Samuel Huntington’s The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order revisited

Chapter:
(p.137) 6 Chaotic epic: Samuel Huntington’s The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order revisited
Source:
American Foreign Policy
Author(s):

James Dunkerley

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9781526116505.003.0007

As a core interpretative text of the immediate post-Cold War period, The Clash of Civilizations acquired an almost infamous status amongst liberal circles on account of a perceived melange of cultural essentialism, conservative realist thinking, and a confidently negative appraisal of world trends. In this chapter, James Dunkerley reviews the initial, often critical reception of Clash of Civilizations and seeks to explain why the text has continued to enjoy such widespread attention. He agrees with the view that, alongside Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History and John Mearsheimer’s The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, it forms part of distinct ‘moment’ following the collapse of the USSR and the complex challenges of the USA becoming, at least transiently, a ‘unipolar power’. However, he also identifies the continued salience of the text in Huntington’s often adept assessment of regional political trends, even when these are entirely divorced from his underlying civilizational thesis.

Keywords:   Samuel Huntington, Clash of Civilizations, Identity, US Foreign Policy, Cultural Essentialism, Conservatism

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