Turkish Journal of International Relations

Turkish Journal of International Relations

Volume 1, Number 2, Summer 2002


The 'Clash of Civilizations': Revisited after September 11
By Engin I. Erdem



The dissolution of the Soviet Union not only ended the Cold War era but also it terminated simplistic understanding of world politics, which was dominant during this time. The bloc mentality of the Cold War has no longer provided an outlook to delineate the picture of the new period. By the end of the Cold War, henceforth, students of international relations have witnessed several ‘contending images of world politics’. The images are basically concerned with redefining the newly emerging world politics. Interestingly, all of these images originate in the West and in the United States in particular. The linkage is in fact significant as it demonstrates knowledge-power relationship in international relations. Of these ‘western’ images of world politics, especially Francis Fukayama’s the ‘End of History’ and Samuel P. Huntington’s the ‘Clash of Civilizations?’ have earned utmost attention. In contrast to Fukayama’s optimistic vision of future, Huntington has called forth World War III that stems from clash of civilizations. He predicts that ‘fundamental’ differences among the seven or eight major civilizations will more likely pave way to global turmoil in years to come.

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