Section 1: The Clash of Civilizations?

In 1991, Samuel Huntington wrote an article for Foreign Affairs Magazine which argued that following the Cold War, future global conflicts would be about cultural and religious identity. The following year he published an expanded version in a book: The Clash Of Civilizations: And The Remaking Of World Order (2002).

Although the article is very famous, most IR academics consider this article to be very weak in academic terms.

The most important step to this lesson is that at the end you conduct a proper critique of Huntington and reflect on what we can learn about academia and the media.

Task 1

For this activity you are using a cut version of the original article, some pages have been taken out.

Every few pages includes specific questions. Read carefully and answer these.

Extension: read the whole article.

If you would like an audio file of this article, please ask during our lesson.

The Clash of Civilizations CUT with Questions.pdf

Article and Questions

Task 2

Imagine a line of agree/ disagree where 1 means strongly disagree, and 7 means strongly agree.

Stand at the point on the line that represents your thoughts on Hungtington's argument.


Task 3

A lot of critiques have been published about Huntington's article. We are going to use one particular academic, Edward Said.

You can read one article that he wrote in 2001 in response: The Clash of Ignorance. But first I recommend you watch his 50 minute lecture as it is more comprehensive.

It gives you an excellent experience of academia and academic debate.

Video Lecture

Section 2: Postcolonialism