Turkish Journal of International Relations

Turkish Journal of International Relations

Volume 3, Number 4, Winter 2004


Civilization as the Genetic Code of Civil Society
By David Botera



World politics, after the decline of Soviet totalitarianism, according to the introduction to the article by Samuel P., Huntington “The clash of civilizations?” has entered in a new phase of the era of struggles between the civilizations. Huntington believes, “the fundamental source of conflict will not be primarily economic” but, in the framework of the New World order, “the conflicts will be determined by clashes between the civilizations”.

According to Huntington’s assumptions, “the nation states will remain the most powerful actors in world affairs, and the principal conflicts in global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations”, while “the clash of civilizations will dominate global politics” (Huntington: 1993).

Civilization identity, which, according to Huntington, “will be increasingly important in the future”, is differentiated by him in large measure by the interactions among seven or eight major civilizations: Western, Confucian, Japanese, Islamic, Hindu, Slavic-Orthodox, Latin American and possibly African civilization.

Huntington argues: there is not to group countries in terms of political or ideological systems neither in terms of the level of their economic development, then rather in terms of their culture and civilization.

According to Huntington, the civilizations are differentiated from each other by their history, language, Culture, Tradition and most important, by their religion. This differentiation, as a concise concept of “cultural entity” finds its expression in an essential and global formulation of “civilization” as a prerequisite to the identification of the relevant community, that according to Huntington is “the consequence of the achievements of humanity” (ibid.).

In this research the author supports the basic assumptions of Huntington even to agreeing to the argument of his thesis by historical events that negate of his theory. Nevertheless, in this connection, the author retains a categorical objection to the notion of conceptual limitation of civilizations as historically or regionally restricted phenomena as a “cultural entity” as declared by Huntington. Furthermore, the author insists on defending a new theory: in the history of humanity there were differences principally between two basic civilizations that are incorporated in the consciousness of human nature and the civil society: the Atheneistic-secular civilization and the Archaicfundamentalist-religious culture.

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