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Clash of Civilizations

Biju Lekshmanan and Dileep P Chandran, SGTDS

Abstract: The primary object of this piece of work is to critically analyze Huntington’s thesis of ‘Clash of Civilization’ in post­ colonial context. It also looks into various responses to Huntington’s thesis. It also tries to put forward some Indian responses to the thesis of ‘C lash of Civilization’. Problem with some of the existing responses to Huntington’s ‘Clash of Civilization’ is that they fall in the Huntingtonian trap. Most of the criticisms were merely highlighting exceptionalism and anomalies in the thesis. They failed to argue that it was Huntington who generalized or universalized the exceptions in the history. Some responses were trying to respond using the same hate language of Huntington. Johan Eriksson (2013) in his article The Clash of Civilizations and its Unexpected Liberalism argued that liberals used the Clash of Civilization thesis in an unexpected way using the language of ‘war on terror.’ Takoshi Inguchi (2013) in the article titled The Clash of Civilizations Faces Evidence Based Perusal questioned the basic assumptions of Huntington’s thesis such as monolithic identity of Islam and coalition against West. Author also found weakness of thesis such as underestimation of deepening permeation of globalization. Anahit Parzyan (2016) rightly argued in his article titled, Clash of Civilizations or Clash of Interests? that clash may occur not because of differences in civilizations, but because of difference in national interests. All critics failed to make clear why Huntington’s thesis was widely received, despite the fact that the thesis was severely criticized. Deepashikha Shahi (2017) in her book, Understanding post — 9/11 Afghanistan: A Critical Insight into Huntington’s Civilizational Approach claimed that the thesis of Clash of Civilization was successful in making a new sense of identity and false civilizational consciousness, and hence it was widely received. Andrew Linklater (2013) in his article Civilization and International Society called Huntington’s classification of civilizations as absurd. Though existing literatures countered the civilizational paradigm of Huntington, some fell into the same trap and failed to question the basic assumptions of the thesis which were ahistorical and abstract.

For a copy of this monograph, please email bijulekshmanan@gmail.com